Simon Liley, head teacher, said everyone had been impressed by the conduct of students during the initial lateral flow tests and as they settled back into lessons. He added: “Our thanks go to all of our families for their support in getting our children back to school so smoothly. I would also like to add a personal thank you to the hardworking team of staff and volunteers who ran our Covid testing centre, completing more than 3,700 lateral flow tests. They were amazing.”
Students spoke of their relief at seeing their friends again and some said being back at school was ‘excellent’. Many said they had missed school and that it was good to have teacher interaction in classrooms again. One of the sixth formers admitted it had not been nice having to wear a mask all day, but said he understood the reason for the rule and he was enjoying being back in face-to-face lessons. One girl said she felt a lot better being back with her friends and teachers, meaning she had help and support academically, socially and mentally, and others said it felt good to have more structure to the day. Although some were anxious about going back, due to the long period of time at home, they felt a lot better after the first day.
One of the newly-painted school murals states ‘better together’ and Gavin Bowles, careers manager, agreed: “It is wonderful, reassuring and purposeful.”