KIRKBY Malham Primary School has pulled out all the stops to ensure its pupils can return to the classrooms and continue their education, now that some of the restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic have been relaxed.

All classes and year groups at Kirkby Malham Primary School returned in some form today, Monday, June 22, in advance of the government’s original target of all children returning to school by July 1, making this village school one of the first to have everyone back in Yorkshire.

Richard Wright, executive headteacher said: “We feel that the time is right for our pupils to return and we are fortunate that with our enviable class numbers we can accommodate a whole school return.

“We will continue to provide ‘Home Learning Support’ to families as we appreciate that not all families are comfortable returning at this stage and we respect their decision. There is no pressure to return but we do believe that it is in the interests of many families that we have some form of return before the summer break.”

Currently there are 50 pupils attending Kirkby Malham school.

Meanwhile, at Settle CE Primary School where Mr Wright is also head and where there are 200 pupils, all year groups with the exception of Year 2/3 will be back - around two thirds of pupils.

Mr Wright, added: “Due to health and safety, premises and logisitcal restrictions we will struggle to get all children back. However this position is under regular review and will be dependant on whether government guidelines are relaxed in some form to facilitate a wider return that is safe for children and staff.”

Settle Primary School also has plans to deliver a summer holiday club provision for pupils at both Settle and Kirkby Malham, which will offer pupils ‘catch up sessions’ in literacy and maths.

He added: “ I am grateful for the support our school has received during lockdown, from parents and the wider community, in terms of practical support such as the donating of much needed PPE. Also, the best wishes, patience and understanding that has come through from all our parents has been magnificent. Special thanks also needs to go to the fabulous staff team of both schools who have joined together to work so hard throughout lockdown, proactively supporting home learning and caring for vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers and keeping everything clean, tidy and safe.

“It has been a big team effort and I am proud of o the way everyone has risen to the occasion during these difficult times. I am hopeful that a near to normal educational provision will continue in the new academic year.”