A DARLINGTON schools body has set out how it is keeping all pupils and staff safe during the coronavirus pandemic as it reopened schools earlier this week.

The Federation of Mowden Schools, which operates both Mowden Infant School and Mowden Junior School, reopened to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils on Monday.

In a letter sent to parents and guardians, the governing body set out how it had adapted both schools to minimise the risk of Covid-19.

As part of stringent measures, the letter said the curriculum will be 'quite relaxed' as staff were told there will be no marking of work to prevent infection spread.

Meanwhile, teachers have been told at least one lesson will be taught outdoors each day - unless it is raining - as science suggests that outdoor transmission of Covid-19 is 'much weaker.'

Indoors, classrooms have been adapted in line with social distancing guidelines with pupils given their own tables, spaced 2m apart and in classroom groups of no more than 15 people. 

The schools' body is also asking parents to ensure children wear clean clothes each day and come already dressed for PE lessons.

It said where clothes can't be washed everyday - such as coats - then they should be stored in the same place, away from other items, while at home.

Among these new measures, the letter went on to say the following:

- Children will wash their hands every time they go outside, or come back in and lots of times in between.

- Classroom sinks will be used where possible.

- We are aiming for zero children’s movement around school once inside.

- No more register monitors, messages to the office, and other jobs that were previously part of school life.

- Most classrooms have their own fire door which we will use for entrance and exits.

-  All our assemblies will now be in classrooms.

- No bikes or scooters to be brought into school please.

- The only item that will go home each day is the water bottle. Please send a water bottle in on the first day.

- Please consider not bringing a school bag or coat in each day.

- Because there will be no school-home work or reading books, the only thing to carry will be a water bottle (unless there’s a packed lunch too).

- To keep clutter and in-school movement to a minimum please only send in a school bag if necessary.

The reopening of schools across the regin has been met with criticism as a poll suggested the majority of North-East parents would not be sending their child back on June 1.