A PRIMARY school in Bury opened this week with a raft of safety measures in place this week.

Bury Catholic Preparatory School was one of very few schools in the borough to open on June 1 ­— the date set by the Government of the reopening of schools to specific year groups after weeks of lockdown.

Hand sanitiser on every desk, PPE equipment and staggered drop-off and pick-up times are just a few examples how the school on Manchester Road is protecting staff and pupils during the coronavirus.

Headteacher Brian Morton said: "When we opened our doors to welcome back our children on June 1st, it was the best feeling.

"We at Bury Catholic Preparatory School believe in being progressive and equipping our children with the adaptability they need to successfully navigate all the obstacles that life may throw at them.

" By keeping our doors shut and stalling the inevitable, we would be doing the children the greatest injustice. It is important that our next generation observe and learn from their role models, in particular the school’s staff whom they hold in such high regard, that change is not something to be feared but an opportunity to become better, stronger and even more adaptable, and that’s the ethos with which Bury Catholic Preparatory School approaches any modifying situation."

Despite already having small classes of 12 to 15 children, staff have worked to adapt the school premises and put in place new procedures to provide a safe, socially distanced "yet unthreatening, relaxed and fun learning environment for the children".

Classroom layouts have been redesigned with individual hand sanitizers on each desk and PPE available for teachers and/or children to use if and when required. New hand wash stations have been put in place, and procedures initiated to ensure that entering and leaving the school is done as safely as possible with a limited need for contact.

Staggered pick-up and drop-off times along with new lunch and break timetables, say the school, allows children to safely play with a free run on the playground for their class.

Mr Morton said: "Our staff worked around the clock from two weeks preceding lockdown, proactively preparing school packs and making provision for online learning to ensure there were no gaps in learning, and that there was complete continuity for our children, during the most unnerving first phase of lockdown."

A parent at Bury Catholic Preparatory School said: ‘I have been blown away by how well prepared our school was and how lovely it has been for my children to have a real sense of normality during these very uncertain times. My children and I are thrilled that the school has reopened as per government guidelines and they have far exceeded all our expectations."

Miss Farrow, deputy head, said:"The children have adapted beautifully to the new procedures and have taken them on wholeheartedly. They are totally at ease and delighted to be back amongst our school family. We are very proud of our school community as a whole for standing together in these uncertain times, supporting each other and especially our precious children, and proving that we shall not be shaken by whatever the future holds."