TEACHERS, psychologists, parents, members of the government – they’ve all had their say about going back to school.
But what about the children? SR News asked them directly what they were looking forward to the most or if they were feeling anxious about going back to school after 11 weeks at home.
After months of homeschooling, on Monday morning none of them had in mind the potential harm to their education. There was just an innocent wish to go back to some kind of normality.
Malaika, five, from Hartlepool said: “I’m looking forward to seeing my friends because I’ve missed them and now we can finally play.”
Meanwhile, Joseph, 12, from Whitley Bay is feeling anxious about wearing a face mask all day.
He said: “I was also anxious about having my COVID test last Friday, but the teachers explained what we had to do, and it was really easy in the end. It felt really strange to wear a full uniform after so many days in my pyjamas. But I’m really looking forward to spending time with my friends and to go to school on my scooter.”
Claudia, 13, from North Shields cannot wait to go back to school, and she said: “I have really missed my friends and the everyday school life. I hope they won’t close it again before the end of the year.”
But Sam, 14, from South Shields, is not really looking forward to going back, and said: “I feel anxious about wearing a face mask all day and being in a busy classroom. I am also not looking forward to getting up an hour earlier to be at school on time. But I do look forward to seeing my friends and having a catch up during lunch and break time.”
While Martha, 14, from Tynemouth is excited to go back and see her friends.
She said: “I’m also looking forward to walking to and from school for a bit of fresh air and exercise. I have been working hard during lockdown, so I’m not worried about the work that we need to do at school.”
There were mixed feelings between parents too. And for most, Monday morning was not some kind of ‘D-Day’ after all.
Rachel Fleming, whose children go to primary and high school in South Shields, said: “I’m so happy that the kids can get back and have a sense of normality. As tough as it has been, I’m going to miss having them around as much. We have had great moments and not so great moments.
“They have had lie-ins, watched TV at lunch, baked cakes and missed classes to go to the beach. And we also argued over projects, classwork and the fact we have been in each other’s faces for the past year. But I’d like to think they will look back on this year with happy memories and the time we were all together.”
Schools in the area took the social media to say how delighted they were to have their full classes back.
A spokesperson for St John Bosco Primary School in Sunderland said that: “The buzz is definitely back.”
There were scenes of happiness at English Martyrs Primary in Sunderland who posted: “We are delighted to have our children back in school today. Our corridors and classrooms are filled with a buzz of activity and the children have settled straight back in. We couldn’t be more proud of our resilient, hardworking and fabulous children.”
And Wellfield Middle praised pupils and their families. and posted: “Well done to all pupils and their families. You have worked unbelievably hard during this period of remote learning and we are so proud of you! We cannot wait to welcome you all back into school to continue your hard work! We have missed you.”