NO playdough, sandpits, or water games, but plenty of reassurance from staff and outdoor play in smaller groups – this is what nursery and school life looks like after the coronavirus lockdown.

As nurseries and schools welcome back a greater number of children, one nursery reassured parents that its new health and safety rules won’t require children to play in hoops or time toilet breaks, and a primary school headteacher said teachers had offered a ‘warm welcome’ to its returning pupils.

Emily Brimson-Keight, head of safety at Busy Bees, said: “There is much speculation about how life after lockdown could look in nurseries and schools, and parents are understandably very anxious. The biggest priority for us is, and always will be, the safety, welfare and happiness of the children in our care.

“Now the lockdown is being relaxed, we’re keen to offer assurance and debunk the myths about the new normal for parents at this unique time, and are confident our plans ensure the safety and crucially, the development and happiness of children.”

Busy Bees said it had shunned floor markings for children’s play areas and focused instead on dividing children into friendship groups, limiting the number of people children come into contact with, reducing the space that children can explore and increasing the time spent outdoors.

All children and staff will have their temperature checked upon arrival, and those families waiting to enter the nursery will be asked to stand two metres apart at drop off and pick up. Regular temperature checks for both children and team members will continue throughout the day, as will handwashing and disinfecting of communal areas.

More than 100 pupils were back at Pitmaston Primary School, in St John’s, as it welcomed back nursery children on Monday and reception age pupils on Wednesday alongside the children of key workers.

The school, in Malvern Road, used neighbouring Pitmaston Park to help ensure social distancing as children were dropped off and its pupils have been assigned ‘bubble groups’ to limit the contact they have with others.

Desks have been moved further apart and pupils have been asked to stay within their set groups throughout the day.

Headteacher Kate Wilcock described the first day back after 10 weeks for many reception pupils as ‘calm and organised’ and added: “Thank you to parents for their supportive messages and positive comments throughout this challenging time.”

She added that the school had reached its full capacity - due to protective measures, guidance restricting pupil numbers within the bubble groups and limited spaces and staff.

The school has started a waiting list system for available spaces.

The school’s year 1 and year 6 pupils will return on Monday, June 8.