Jubilant scenes as kids reunite with teachers & pals for first time in ten weeks – The Sun
EXCITED youngsters headed back to class on Monday — despite a revolt by some councils to keep schools closed.
More than two dozen local authorities — mainly in the North — told heads not to reopen their gates yet.
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But there were jubilant scenes in most as children were reunited with their friends and teachers for the first time in ten weeks.
An estimated two million youngsters can now head back to class as primaries reopened for nursery kids, reception pupils and those in Year 1 and Year 6.
Headteachers expect up to two thirds of eligible pupils to return this week.
And while some parents may be nervous at first, No10 believes more will send their children back when they see how well their schoolmates are getting on in class.
Steve Chalke, founder of the Oasis Academy School trust chain, said the youngsters were finding their new-look, socially distanced schools “fun”.
He told Sky News: “People say that young children can’t socially distance. Our experience is they really can socially distance.”
Classes have been capped at 15, and each one is not allowed to mix with other groups.
Children’s desks are spaced two metres apart to protect against the spread of Covid-19.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “I recognise there may continue to be some nervousness among families but I want to reassure parents — and those
working in schools and nurseries — that the welfare of children and staff continues to be at the heart of all of our considerations.”
The kids were banned from proper hugs and high fives for greetings due to social distancing rules.
So many greeted each other with “virtual hugs”.
The non-contact greeting, taught by parents, involves the children standing two metres apart and giving themselves a hug while saying: “This is for you.”
At Roade Primary in Northampton, headteacher Mark Currell greeted his returning pupils with virtual hugs.
At school gates, teachers wearing personal protective equipment and armed with thermometers made sure only those without virus symptoms were allowed in.
I recognise there may continue to be some nervousness among families but I want to reassure parents — and those working in schools and nurseries — that the welfare of children and staff continues to be at the heart of all of our considerations.
In Leeds, mum Charmaine Jenkins, 33, was delighted to take daughter Miley Harder, six, back to Beeston Primary.
Nursery worker Charmaine said: “I’m happy for her to go back. She’s missed school and I feel she needs some normality.
However, hundreds of schools allowed to reopen remained closed yesterday.
Some plan to open through the rest of this week but others intend to delay until next Monday or later in the month after pressure from councils, unions and parents that yesterday was too early.
Meanwhile, summer school camps are set to be laid on for disadvantaged kids whose education has been hampered by the Covid lockdown.
The Government is expected to announce cash for charities to hold catch-up classes in the hols.
Schools are not expected to be ordered to stay open and the schemes are expected to be voluntary.
Glad to be with mates
YEAR 6 pupil Poppy Althorpe was happy to get back to school.
Many lessons took place outside with classes split into bubbles by friendship groups and ability.
Poppy, of Weldon, Northants, was placed with her best friends in a bubble of four.
She said: “They put chalk on the floor so you could stand two metres apart. You couldn’t go up to your friends and just hug them and say ‘hi’.”
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