Llanishen Fach Elementary School usually had 540 students per school week.
And generally, Rhiwbina’s school, Cardiff, would be closed during the Easter holidays, but these are unusual times.
The school, like many others across Wales, is open and caring for children of designated parents during this crucial period.
He registered about 90 students during the coronavirus epidemic, but has had no more than 30 a day so far.
This is usually due to parents with different work patterns or doing their best to follow government protocols to keep their children at home.
It is one of Cardiff’s largest hubs – a safe environment for children in six schools.
“It was very different, for sure,” said Annie James, the deputy director.
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“We are no longer really a school.
“It is basically a daycare and we focus on the well-being of children and we are helping and supporting them during this really difficult time.
“We are just happy to be able to do our part to support parents so that they can continue to carry out vital work and essential services.”
In the neighboring Glamorgan valley, Ysgol y Deri in Penarth is a special school which acts as a hub with two other ordinary primary schools.
It has a maximum capacity of 29 students each day and is open seven days a week, seven hours a day, and aims to be as flexible as possible for parents who need child care.
During the Easter holidays, there will be just over 400 hubs open across Wales, with space for 3000 children whose parents will need child care during this period – less than 1% of the school population usual.
While it can be difficult for young children who just want to play with their friends, hub staff do everything they can to meet social distancing guidelines by:
- Keep children two meters apart, on separate tables inside
- Spend much more time outside and outside in good weather
- Creation of small groups of children at opposite ends of the school in different classes
A week ago, a child tested positive for Covid-19 at Llanishen Fach Elementary School and was isolated.
No other student or staff showed symptoms.
How long can things go on like this for our schools?
For Annie James at Llanishen Fach, this can continue as long as necessary.
“I mean, we now have … all of our systems and so on in place,” she said.
“There are few refinements to be made, but we could continue as long as necessary.
“We have implemented staff rotations, activities [are] expected, and we’ll obviously just have to see how long the situation continues.
“We also offer home learning to our students who are not in school so that they can continue their educational tasks.
“But, again, it’s not supposed to be home school.
“We also don’t want parents to feel pressured into thinking that they have to do what they do in school.
“So we support our parents with types of activities that they can also do at home. “