St Lawrence College Junior School pupils were jumping for joy today as the school gates re-opened for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils.
Whilst the school has been open in a limited capacity for a small number of keyworker children throughout the Covid-19 situation, it was wonderful to welcome more than 40 pupils back from across the government-designated year groups.
The School is following a strict policy on hygiene and social distancing and has implemented new systems for dropping off and picking up to ensure all pupils and staff remain safe.
Head of Junior School, Mrs Ellen Rowe, was delighted to see so many children return today. She said, "It has been wonderful to welcome back so many of our children from Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 today. The children have very quickly adapted to the new social distancing and hygiene rules and they have been so excited to see their teachers and friends again. There is a buzz of children working in their classrooms and the sound of laughter when they go out to play. Knowing we are taking all the precautions and following detailed risk assessments has made the school feel very safe.
"We know for families with relatives to shield, they cannot be back with us in school, and so we are continuing to provide our inspiring curriculum via Google Classrooms. We are even setting up social Google Meets for those in school to chat online to those working at home. Our school community has grown even stronger by coping with coronavirus together, parents have been so supportive of our teaching team and the teachers have been so dedicated to teaching the children online and now, back in school."
And the pupils seemed very happy to be back.
Charlie from Year 6 said, "It is so good to be back with friends. I am getting used to the new things and new routines." And this was echoed by classmate James, who said, "It is so different at home as there is more structure in school and it's good to be back".
Elvie in Year 6 was pleased to be at school because "it's easier to get on with work at school because I'm not so distracted" and for Jenson it was the chance to "see everyone and play football again with my friends at break".
Our Year 1 Pre-Prep pupils were also pleased to be back in school. Abbie said, "I was really looking forward to seeing how the school had changed and it looks very nice. I love school". And Norah added, "I was really excited to see my friends and teachers again."
Year 1 Teacher, Mrs Charlotte Adams, summed up the first day back, "It is wonderful to hear the children's laughter, see their smiles and hear their funny stories again. They have not stopped laughing, they are so excited to be back."