When and how to send children back to school has been one of the biggest debates of the lockdown.

From Monday, 1 June, some primary pupils will start returning to their classrooms to face new social distancing measures and education like never before.

Teachers say they are having to go against some of their instincts to conform. Faced with classes a third of their usual size, books and toys are having to be stored away with two-metre tape and barriers a common sight.

We're a little nervous, a little unsure. School will look very different. Many parents are keen for their children to come back, but others are wary and will wait to see what we do as a school first before deciding if their children will come back.

Marie Thomas, Headteacher, St Mary Redcliffe C of E Primary School

Most schools will welcome back nursery, Reception, Years 1 & 6, but the headteacher has the final say.

St Mary Redcliffe will have a maximum of 84 to start with, rising to 188 of their 432 total intake.

However, North Somerset Council has contacted all North Somerset schools advising them to delay re-opening until Monday 8 June.

It comes after Weston General Hospital stopped taking new patients on Monday 25 May due to a number of coronavirus cases amongst staff.

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust confirmed that 40% of a "limited group of staff who worked with Covid-19 positive patients" had themselves tested positive for the virus.

They will be washing toys - in a sandpit - twice a day to try to stop the spread of infection. Credit: ITV West Country

Some unions have argued government plans for the re-opening of schools to children other than those of key workers and the vulnerable is too soon and unsafe.

But many parents and children are worried they're missing out on valuable education as weeks away turn into months.

The teachers say the arguments are for another day and their priority to make the pupils' return as safe as possible.

At break-time they'll want to play around with each other and I think that will be a challenge. We'll just have to keep on communicating the same (social distancing) message.

Sam Marquez-Vega, Teacher
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