Headteachers 'can’t thank staff enough' after successful return to school

Lancashire’s schoolchildren and teachers have had a busy first day back and headteachers are pleased with the uptake of testing.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 9:15 am

Ivan Catlow, headteacher at Archbishop Temple School in Preston said: “It has gone really well. We got through all the children we wanted to test and they’ve really enjoyed coming back in general.

“They’ve looked forward to speaking with friends and there seems to be a real atmosphere and a real buzz around the place.

Years 11 and 10 returned to the school yesterday (March 8) as well as half of the Year 9 students.

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School Business Support Officer Julie Brennan hands year 8 pupil Harrison his card which he will give to a coronavirus tester. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard.

“Everyone is in lessons,” Mr Catlow said, “They’ve started lessons, had a test and then gone back to those lessons and they’re enjoying lessons.

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“We increased the staff to try and limit how long testing takes,” he said, “We are hoping to be back to normal by Wednesday!

“I can’t thank the staff enough. There are staff volunteering to do jobs that aren’t really their jobs, staff who have trained to do jobs, and I’ve had additional staff volunteer to do duties.

Technician Caroline Pratt with Harrison's sample at Archbishop Temple CofE School. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

"It has just been a huge, mass team effort and staff have absolutely gone above and beyond for the benefit of the children.

“Hopefully, if this happens again, by Wednesday the children will have as much normality as we can possibly have.”

"It has been great to see the children back in school and hearing them as I walk around and there are lots of smiling faces.

Site supervisor Wes Kendall sticks down one way stickers to maintain social distancing at Archbishop Temple CofE School. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard.

“The staff have loved having their classrooms full again and I've also had some relieved parents now that they're back!”

Parents aren’t the only ones to be relieved as children enjoyed being back together with their friends and teachers.

Assistant headteacher at Longridge Church of England Primary School, Timothy Nixon, said: “The children have settled in really well- it’s like they’ve never been away!

“It’s really nice to see them, they’re all excited and getting on with their work straight away.

“They’re all really eager to see each other and are playing outside with each other again.

“The parents are quite pleased as well and were quite happy waving them off!

“It always amazes me how fast the children settle back into things and they’re very resilient.”

Albany Academy headteacher, Peter Mayland said his students have 'responded very maturely' to testing and have 'taken it in their stride'.

"We’ve successfully carried out over 500 tests during the past 6 days to make sure students were able to make a smooth start back to class," Mr Mayland said.

"They were delighted to be back in lessons today and to be able to see their friends and teachers face to face.

"They’re grateful for the online education they’ve received over the past 11 weeks but are very pleased that they can now focus on learning together in class."