SCHOOLS have welcomed back pupils across the Halstead area following the summer break and months of lockdown.

Pupils in both primary and secondary education returned to their socially distanced classrooms as children made a new start in a whole new year group.

Mum Leonie Bradford said: “All the teachers at Earls Colne came into the playground blowing whistles and shaking instruments – with funny hats and glasses on – clapping and cheering that the children were returning.

“It was like a mini Mardi Gras parade and such a fantastic start back!”

Arline Sloan’s daughter Charlotte returned to her Year 4 class.

Arline said: “I have to say I felt rather emotional.

“We have had a lovely six months together.

“But Charlotte on the other hand is so excited to see her friends and teachers.

“Threre was a social distance queue to get in the gate and each child had antibacterial on their hands before entering the school.

“This is the new normal, but I know Charlotte will have a lovely day.

“It’s great to normalise things especially for their mental health.”

Hedingham School headteacher Andrew Harvison said: “It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces entering the school gates this morning.

“All of us at Hedingham have been looking forward to this day for a long time.

“Naturally, there was some anxiety but this was quickly forgotten when they saw their friends and teachers.

“I have just walked around the school and it was a pleasure to see students working in classrooms and bursting with energy.

“Students and staff will be very tired tonight as they find their way around the new system.

“Our site team have worked hard to set up Year group zones, one-way systems and modified classrooms.

“We are safe and ready to learn, and I look forward to a successful year at Hedingham School.”

Pupils at Hedingham School also said they were looking forward to getting back to normal.

Eleni Sargeant said: “It’s great to be back working again, surrounded by my friends.”

Lucy Perry said: “It’s been good to get feedback from my teachers on my work and I am glad to be back with my friends again.”

Alfie Simpson added: “It’s been great to get taught by teachers in person again, rather than through screens.”

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