Back to school & Covid-secure!
(Year 5/6 teacher, Middlezoy Primary School, Somerset – Wednesday 9th September 2020)
Thank you Middlezoy! Your school, staff and children were fantastic hosts for Explorer Dome’s first visit of the new academic year. This marks Explorer Dome’s entry into a new era of covid-secure science outreach. Hand shaking & cups of tea on arrival are sadly on hold this term while hand sanitizing, floor washing, transparent visors and keeping our distance are things we all need to get used to.
None of this got in the way of the children’s enthusiasm though – within their class bubbles they can carry on with the usual excitement, hushed whispers, gasps of awe and they let their questions pour out with as much curiosity as ever. It’s a delight to be back in school and we’re very grateful to the staff of Middlezoy for their confidence in inviting us in. It’s vital for Explorer Dome, for science enrichment and for everyone’s health and well-being that we can find a way to work safely under the shadow of Covid-19.
It’s lucky that our inflatable domes are exceptionally well ventilated and that children within a class bubble don’t need to physically distance themselves, so we can still accommodate a class at a time and be confident that being in the dome itself doesn’t pose a significant extra risk. Our presenters need to maintain their distance though and we wear a combination of cloth face coverings and transparent visors as appropriate. We’re also using headset mics so we don’t need to project our voices as much as normal. We’ve had to adapt our shows & demonstrations to mitigate risks and are keeping it Hands-On where we can. Frequent hand sanitizing, washing the floor and tunnel of the dome between shows and keeping doors and windows open for extra ventilation are all part of the new regime.
We understand that many schools are choosing not to have visitors on site this term, but we’re here and ready when you are. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the national and local picture, following the guidance, monitoring ourselves for symptoms, isolating when necessary and doing all we can do keep science lively, interactive & fun!