Peterborough pupils swap uniform for PE kit and finish early in bid to beat record breaking heat

“It was an incredibly hot couple of days for learning and our students managed the conditions and themselves very well”

By Stephen Briggs
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 3:00 pm

Pupils swapped their school uniform for PE kit and were able to finish classes early as Peterborough baked in record breaking temperatures.

While some Peterborough schools closed completely today as a result of the Met Office’s red extreme heat warning, most opened up – for the morning at least.

But head teachers were forced to take extra measures to keep pupils and staff safe, as Peterborough’s temperatures reached record levels today.

Pupils at Nene Park Academy refilling their water bottles with Head of PE Aaron Kennedy.

One school taking extra measures was Nene Park Academy, where pupils were able to wear a more ‘relaxed’ uniform. This meant that students could choose not to wear their ties, jumpers or cardigans, or alternatively choose to wear their PE kit.

The academy’s PE department ensured that any outdoor activities were appropriate and closely monitored the duration of time students spent outside. This was also mirrored in the way the academy approached lunchtime, ensuring students could seek respite from the sunshine in cooler, shadier areas within the academy.

Monday saw maximum use of air-conditioned rooms and movement of pupils into classrooms which were least affected by the heat.

And on Tuesday, a decision was made to close Nene Park Academy at 12.15pm, to the majority of students, with the provision of afternoon supervision if requested by parents.

Pupils at Nene Park Academy, dressed in sports kit for the day, using the sports halls for light activity which are some of the school's cooler areas.

The academy asked parents and carers to encourage their children to make their way home as quickly as possible so they arrived back before the forecasted hottest part of the day.

Principal, Rob Grover, said: “It was an incredibly hot couple of days for learning and our students managed the conditions and themselves very well. I and the entire staff team would like to thank them for the way they have approached the heat and their resilient approach.”

There was a similar approach at Werrington Primary School, where parents were given the option of picking children up at lunch time – although staff were still at school in the afternoon to ensure there was provision for children who were unable to go home.

Head teacher Rachel Simmons said: “Children could come to school in their PE kit today, and we moved classes around to make sure we got the best use of the coolest classrooms.”

Pupils at Nene Park Academy, dressed in sports kit for the day, using the sports halls for light activity which are some of the school's cooler areas.