'Overwhelmingly positive first day back': Northampton schools full of joy with return of all pupils
Head teacher: 'It is so lovely to see and hear full classrooms again'
Schools in Northampton were full of joy with the return of all pupils from yesterday (Monday, March 8), as one head teacher described it as 'overwhelmingly positive'.
Some schools had balloons and bubble machines to welcome back those who have been learning from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
All teachers were relieved to have their students back in the classroom while the pupils were pleased to see their friends in person again, many for the first time in months.
The Arbours Primary Academy head teacher Angela Watts said yesterday: “Today was a brilliant day!
"The sun was in the sky this morning as we welcomed parents bringing smiling, skipping and eager children at staggered start times.
"It was lovely to see everyone return. The day was filled with teachers and children catching up with each other and beginning to get back into the routines of school life.
"Every child’s behaviour was fantastic and teachers were so proud of how well the children were adjusting to being back together. Everyone was so happy!
“During the remote learning, children did their best to engage with learning but it was joyful to see teacher learning at the front of their classes doing what they do best... teaching!
"Collection time was a calm and smooth as drop off and we can’t wait for tomorrow for another brilliant day all back together at The Arbours Primary Academy!”
Only vulnerable students and the children of key workers have been present and the rest learning virtually during the third national shutdown, which started on January 4.
JD Hives, principal of Malcolm Arnold Preparatory School (MAPS), said they pulled out all the stops to celebrate the return of full classrooms.
“It was fantastic to welcome the rest of our MAPS community on site to learn together again," she said.
"The children were welcomed with music, their teachers, balloons and bubble machines, as we celebrated being back together as a community.
"Our children were confident with the routines set out to work within the Covid-19 guidelines, staff were positive and ready to teach face to face rather than via a screen and our parents were incredibly supportive.
"It was a day that marked how united the school team here at MAPS is and we look forward to the rest of the school year.”
Eastfield Academy principal Clair Mills said their job now is to 'teach, teach and teach' and ensure all pupils receive the highest quality of education.
She added: "It is so lovely to see and hear full classrooms again. We had lots of smiley faces on their way into school, both children and parents!
"We had a great first day of reconnecting with a focus on getting back into our usual routines which children thrive on and ensuring we made time for the children to talk about their lockdown experiences and chat with their friends."
Kim Duff, principal of Kings Heath Primary Academy (KHPA), said: “We had an overwhelmingly positive first day back at school for all pupils and staff at KHPA.
"All pupils were incredibly excited to reconnect with their friends and teachers.
"Pupils’ attendance and uniforms were excellent and we were so grateful to the KHPA community for supporting their children for their return.
"Learning is in full flow and we are supporting the children to bounce back and re-acclimatise to school life.”