Flemish school gives children hoops for social distance
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    Flemish school gives children hoops for social distance

    Credit: Sint-Martinusschool Lubbeek

    A primary school in Flanders is guaranteeing the necessary social distance between its pupils by having them carry around a hoop at all times now that the schools have reopened.

    The Sint-Martinus primary school in the municipality Lubbeek in the Flemish Brabant province has given a hoop to all pupils in the first and second grades. “It is still fun for now, but in the long run, this cannot be sustained,” said Liesbeth Taveirne, the principal of the school.

    To teach the pupils how to keep their distance, the children of the first and second grade all got a hoop. “Our gymnastics teachers made them. It is a bubble for the children that they have with them all the time, to keep the distance,” Taveirne said.

    Credit: Sint-Martinusschool Lubbeek

    The hoops are placed around the chairs where they always sit in the classrooms. “It is a personalised hoop, with a number and the [children’s] class animal on it,” said Taveirne.

    “When the bell rings, they can go outside and take their hoop with them. They eat their fruit in the hoop, and then play with it. That way they know the distance they have to keep,” she added.

    The hoop also has to be taken with them to the toilet. “They’ll put it in front of the toilet door. That way the other children know that a stall is occupied. Then they wait a while and keep their distance. When they come out again, they pick up the hoop again,” Taveirne said.

    Credit: Sint-Martinusschool Lubbeek

    However, it is not feasible to keep this up, according to the principal. “They can play with the hoop, and they can also play other contactless games. We will keep it fairly strict for the time being, so they know ‘this is my distance’. It is by no means something to last for years,” Taveirne said.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times