'They were so excited they ran to school' - schools reopen their doors

Dunmow St Mary's pupils

Dunmow St Mary's pupils - Credit: Saffron Photo

There was a lot of excitement as pupils went back to school on Monday (March 8).  

Primary and secondary schools across England reopened following the lockdown, and college students and university students on practical courses who need access to specialist facilities are also allowed back. 

Some pupils at Great Dunmow Primary School were so excited that they could be seen running to school by headteacher Kevin Watts. 

Mr Watts said: “The day was fantastic, it was good to see everybody back, and the beaming smiles on their faces.  

“We had music on the playground to welcome them.  


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“Our attendance was 99.8 percent which is superb.” 

Mr Watts said he asked teachers to ease the children back into the routine by doing activities to increase their confidence at school. 

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He said: “Having been off for 11 weeks it was difficult for some children to be back. 

“The learning is important, but their mental health and wellbeing is also vitally important.

“Hopefully we won’t have a fourth lockdown.” 

Clare Griffiths, headteacher at Dunmow St Mary’s, said the children were very happy to be back in school and see their friends and teachers. 

Mrs Griffiths said: “They were very happy to be back to normal, and we were very happy to have them back.  

“They have missed so much, their friends, the social interaction.  

“I think it’s been such an incredible hard time for families, a massive relief for everybody that schools could reopen fully yesterday.” 

She said she thinks that, with the right support, children will be able to go back into a routine. 

“We need to ensure children are happy, because if children don’t feel safe and happy, they won’t learn. 

“Some children have worked very hard to learn and carried on making progress. For some, it’s not been so easy.” 

She added: “We are going to work out exactly where each child is and what the crucial learning is for every pupil to fill any gaps. 

“I don’t think it’s going to be a quick fix, but I think children are very resilient. If they are in a good place emotionally, this generation of children will bounce back.”  

A teacher and assistant dancing to the music as Great Dunmow Primary goes back.

A teacher and assistant dancing to the music as Great Dunmow Primary goes back. - Credit: Saffron Photo

Headmaster of Great Dunmow Primary, Kevin Watts greeted everyone back with music and a PA system

Headmaster of Great Dunmow Primary, Kevin Watts greeted everyone back with music and a PA system - Credit: Saffron Photo

Students are walked to Great Dunmow Primary School for the first day back

Students are walked to Great Dunmow Primary School for the first day back - Credit: Saffron Photo

Students returning to Great Dunmow Primary School

Students returning to Great Dunmow Primary School - Credit: Saffron Photo

Returning to Great Dunmow Primary School

Returning to Great Dunmow Primary School - Credit: Saffron Photo

Returning to Great Dunmow Primary School

Returning to Great Dunmow Primary School - Credit: Saffron Photo

Great Dunmow Primary School headteacher Kevin Watts

Great Dunmow Primary School headteacher Kevin Watts waves and greets the children returning back to class. - Credit: Saffron Photo

Great Dunmow Primary School students with their parents

Students accompanied by their parents walk to Great Dunmow Primary School for the first day back after lockdown - Credit: Saffron Photo

Students return to Great Dunmow Primary School

Students return to Great Dunmow Primary School - Credit: Saffron Photo

A student at Great Dunmow Primary School

A student returns to Great Dunmow Primary School - Credit: Saffron Photo

Students and parents walk to Great Dunmow Primary School

Students and parents walk to Great Dunmow Primary School - Credit: Saffron Photo

Children are welcomed back into classrooms at Great Dunmow Primary School

Children are welcomed back into classrooms at Great Dunmow Primary School - Credit: Saffron Photo

Great Dunmow Primary School headteacher Kevin Watts with children

Great Dunmow Primary School headteacher Kevin Watts encourages children to dance on their first day back - Credit: Saffron Photo

Great Dunmow Primary School's kitchen made bacon rolls

Great Dunmow Primary School's kitchen prepares bacon rolls on the first day back - Credit: Saffron Photo

Students at Great Dunmow Primary School having fun on their first day back

Great Dunmow Primary School students were encouraged to dance and join in on their first day back - Credit: Saffron Photo

Great Dunmow Primary School headteacher Kevin Watts with children having fun

Great Dunmow Primary School headteacher Kevin Watts encouraged children to dance on their first day back - Credit: Saffron Photo

Group photo at Dunmow St Mary's

Students were happy to return to Dunmow St Mary's - Credit: Saffron Photo

Dunmow St Mary's class back in session, with children smiling

Class is back in at Dunmow St Mary's, with plenty of smiles - Credit: Saffron Photo


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