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Teachers, parents and pupils across Diss welcome schools’ reopening



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Teachers in the Diss Express area have praised the “calm and joyful” return of children to classrooms after months of home-schooling.

Last Monday, schools across England reopened to all pupils, following almost two months of only being open to children of essential workers – due to the winter spike in coronavirus cases and emergences of new variants.

While there were some noticeable changes – secondary school pupils must be tested for the virus twice a week – teachers welcomed a return to some sense of normality.

Rob Connelly, headteacher of Archbishop Sancroft High School, who has welcomed back pupils to the school. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
Rob Connelly, headteacher of Archbishop Sancroft High School, who has welcomed back pupils to the school. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

Ahead of the reopening, Rob Connelly, headteacher at Archbishop Sancroft High School, in Wilderness Lane, Harleston, praised his students – many of whom will have missed almost a year of classroom teaching.

He said: “We must remember, this is not a ‘lost generation’ of children but an incredibly special generation who deserve all we can give them once the Archbishop Sancroft High School family is back together.

“The classrooms and corridors will be filled with energy, joy and laughter. Relationships, although not lost, will be re-established.”

The sentiment was echoed by parents at the school, who have been equally tested, as they were forced to balance their own work lives with home-schooling.

Nina Green, who has two children at Archbishop Sancroft High School, said: “My children are very excited about going back to school to see their friends and restore some normality in their lives.

“There’s no doubt the school environment is the best place for them to receive their education and it’s so important for them to have that social contact with their friends.”

She also thanked teaching staff, who had provided learning sessions through online video calls throughout the winter.

She added: “The teaching staff have shown outstanding professionalism to provide engaging and fulfilling remote learning and, as a family, we are extremely grateful for their commitment during these challenging times for us all.

Despite being back to school, the teaching environment will remain markedly different to how it was this time last year. Students and staff must wear face coverings in schools wherever two-metre social distancing cannot be maintained, and will be encouraged to take two lateral flow tests a week.

Jo Cerullo, Executive headteacher of Diss Primary Academy Partnership, which has seen pupils return to school after the third lockdown was lifted. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
Jo Cerullo, Executive headteacher of Diss Primary Academy Partnership, which has seen pupils return to school after the third lockdown was lifted. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

Following the opening day, Jo Cerullo, headteacher at Diss Infant and Nursery School, said the first day back was a resounding success.

“It was great to see all the children return yesterday,” she said. “The atmosphere in the school, with almost all classrooms full, was calm and joyful.

“Our children love school and we love teaching them.”



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