Classes for all as schools go back across Arran

It's back to classes for pupils at Whiting Bay primary school.

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Pupils on Arran joined children across Scotland in returning to school this week.

All primary and early years classes are now back full time with part-time face-to-face teaching for pupils at Arran High School.

Children at six of the primary schools and early years classes on the island were welcomed with a new friend Buddy Bear – a little teddy wearing the school values t-shirt, with a friendly poem, which brought a smile to everyone, and much cuddling.

Head teacher of the Arran primary schools, with the exception of Lamlash, Shirley MacLachlan said: ‘I am delighted to have welcomed all the primary children back to school on Monday after having been in lockdown since Christmas.

‘P4 – 7 returned, following the early years and P1-3 children who returned in February. The schools all sound like their old selves again, with footsteps, chatter and, most importantly, laughter.

‘Parents and carers have done an amazing job of following the home learning activities both on-line, through our Seesaw learning platform, through our home learning packs as well as lots of creative activities, both inside and outdoors, so thank you to one and all.

‘Our focus continues to be health and wellbeing, looking at routines and relationships as everyone ‘adjusts’ to being back in the swing of daily school life.

‘In the curriculum, picking up on numeracy and literacy is also a main focus. However, there still are some restrictions that we have to follow as part of government guidelines, including outdoor PE only and not been able to sing inside. We continue to learn Makaton songs, so singing… but not as we know it.

‘We are following guidance with lots of hand washing, ventilation, wearing masks on transport, adults wearing masks in communal areas, distancing when applicable, as well as getting great support from parents and carers at the school gates who are also following the guidelines.’

Mrs MacLachlan asked some children what was the best part of being back at school and some of their replies were: ‘Seeing my friends’; ‘Eating altogether in the lunch hall’; ‘Seeing my teachers’; ‘Getting to do new work, including science’; ‘Seeing everyone!’;  ‘Playing in the playground with my friends’;  ‘Not having to do home learning’; and ‘Wearing my school uniform- but it is a little shorter than before’.

‘With less than two weeks till the Easter break, there is a lot to get through and all the teachers and staff will be working hard to ensure that learning continues for everyone,’ Mrs MacLachlan added.

Meanwhile, all secondary school pupils on the island will be back in class at some point before the Easter holidays. Half of the pupils were back this week with the other half next week.

They will then have two days each before the school closes for their spring holiday on Thursday April 1.