Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

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Elementary school students who are going back to face-to-face classes this week will have an extra item to make sure they pack — their face masks. While students in preparation for grade two are already back in school and exempt from wearing masks, face masks are now required for children in grades three to six while indoors in school. Children in grades three and four resume part-time tuition at the school Tuesday and Wednesday, and grades five and six Thursday and Friday for two weeks before the bell rings for full-time tuition at all grade levels from Oct. 26. Mount Pleasant Primary School principal Kate Robinson said some students already wore masks to school, including a handful at lower grade levels. “Some have already used masks, but it will be very new to other children,” she said. “At this point, children are used to seeing adults in masks in everyday life, so from the school’s point of view, it’s about educating students in wearing masks, how to take them off safely and why.” Families were notified of the mask rule on Friday, and although children are expected to bring theirs from home, the school will have masks available for those who forget. Ms Robinson said she expected children to quickly adapt to masks at school. “It’s really important that they know why they have a mask on how it’s a health and safety measure for them and the people around them and understand that we all take care of each other by doing this.” These kids know what COVID is; they know how it spreads, they have routines around washing hands, sneezing into the elbow villain, we do not shake hands anymore. They have already had a huge change of procedures and routines in the classroom and that is another. She said teachers would be encouraged to take advantage of outdoor learning spaces in good weather. Royal Children’s Hospital pediatrician Jane Munro said last week the decision for children to wear masks at school was “backed by good science” and would help to keep them in school. “It’s simple, it’s safe. There are no health risks to a child wearing a mask. It’s easy to do and it’s common sense, too, “she said. When schools returned to the UK, around eight per cent of children received COVID within the first few weeks and had to be absent, and Dr Munro stressed the importance of not to repeat their experience – especially without any vaccine currently approved for children under the age of 12. “Parents do not have to worry. Children are big. They adapt. They are resistant and we can easily show them the way how to wear a mask. Now, not everyone gets it right all the time. “As parents, I would ask you to look back on yourself about how your children learned to wear a hat in preparation for the policy without hat-no play, wearing a seat belt … all the things we teach children to do, like are good to them, but they are not keen on in the beginning. IN OTHER NEWS “Children, they move around a lot in classrooms in primary school, and they also tend to sneeze, snot at each other and even lick each other sometimes, and it’s rough, but it’s reality, so it’s really important to try to use steps to stop aerosol spreading. “Robinson said she could not wait to get more students back on the school grounds this week.” We know that children thrive on being in school, they thrive on being with their peers and learning together. We are excited. The staggered start is another approach, but the important thing is that we get them back. “Our team of local journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the Ballarat community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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