Primary says a huge 'welcome back' to pupils
Hillcrest Primary School was delighted to welcome all children back for the first time since the Christmas holidays on March 8.
“It’s been a tough time for the children - missing their friends, teachers and school routine; for parents - struggling to combine home schooling with work commitments; and for school staff - providing daily home learning alongside classroom teaching,“ said Juliet Fleming, administrator at the school.
The school was fully cleaned and ‘fogged’ ready for the reopening, and staff continued to sanitise surfaces and touch points both in classrooms and around the school throughout the day.
Welcoming the full remit of pupils back was a joyful occasion, says Juliet, and staff got involved with festivities.
“The staff team all pitched in to blow up hundreds of balloons and create balloon arches for every entrance,” she explained.
“Children in reception classes were also greeted by clouds of bubbles which magically dispelled any back-to-school wobbles!”
Headteacher Bridget Norman said: “There is a lot of talk about ‘catch up’ and ‘closing the gaps’.
"At Hillcrest we will be ensuring that the children catch up with their friends, teachers and all the fantastic members of staff here at Hillcrest first. We will of course make sure our curriculum remains broad and ambitious for all of our children but our number one priority is re-establishing our school routines, making sure our children feel safe and happy and getting the basics right.”
The school didn’t fully close over lockdown, remaining open for children of key workers and others. “Over a third of children continued attending,” said Juliet.
New regulations include staggered play times, and lunches are being served ‘airline style’ in classrooms.
What parents said:
"Incredible to do all that extra when they must have been coping with getting back to full school themselves."
"Just when I think Hillcrest can't get more amazing, we arrive to balloons."