Relief and excitement as Hucknall and Bulwell schools return
It was the day the country had been waiting for as yesterday, hundreds of school pupils across Hucknall and Bulwell finally returned to their classrooms after lockdown.
For many, it was a chance to finally see their friends and classmates again, as well as their teachers, while for staff, it was time to finally get back to something like normal.
The return of pupils to school has been a big talking point, the government making it a top priority.
And for many parents and teachers alike, the big return has been something they have been really looking forward too.
Primary schools, in particular, have been a focus of attention during lockdown, and at Edgeware Primary School in Hucknall everyone was excited to be back.
Ed Seeley, head teacher, said: It's been great, everyone has been really enthusiastic and happy to be back and the children have already got back into some routines really quickly.
"We don't like having the school half-empty, to be honest, it just didn't feel like our school without everyone being there."This is the first time we've ever had a mass return to school in the middle of a school term and everyone has reacted really well to it."The children are all happy to be back and seeing their friends and the staff are glad to see them back too, our school feels like we want it to again."We are following the same protocols that we have been since last autumn, so we feel its safe and staff are more confident now about having everyone in which is great for us all."
While schools like Edgewood have seen all pupils returning at the same time, others like Bulwell Academy have seen returns staggered with some students not returning until next week and all students being tested for Covid before resuming lessons.
But, posting on her blog on the academy website, principal Michelle Strong expressed her confidence in the school, it’s staff, students and parents, to ensure the big return was a successful one.
She said: “We have made this landmark day together – helping and supporting each other.
Students, parents, and staff have had to dig deep since the turn of the year.
“January and February are always long months but these past few weeks, at times, have felt like this period was never going to end.
“While lockdown continues, here we are, the first day of welcoming students back in our phased return.
“By March 16, everybody will be back, with Covid-19 lateral flow testing being offered to each year group before returning.
The testing is going well.
"We can only do it where we have parental consent and, for those who have not done so yet, it is not too late to give it.
“Our focus, as always, is the safety of staff and students and, for this reason, we would like to test as many students as we possibly can.
“Those with consent will have three tests in school as we do what we can to help keep the infection rate as low as possible.
"Students will then be expected to regularly test themselves at home.”