LiveLive updates as children return to school across the Portsmouth area
Schools across the Portsmouth area are set to welcome children back to the classroom this morning.
It comes as the first stage in the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Primary and secondary schools were ordered to close - except to children of key workers – on January 4 by the Prime Minister.
However kids will now be returning to the classroom as part of the government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, which was announced in February.
We have sent reporters to schools across the Portsmouth area this morning – and they will be bringing you all the reaction and updates.
You can follow along in our live blog at the bottom of this article.
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Live updates as children return to school across Portsmouth
Last updated: Monday, 08 March, 2021, 10:22
- Children returning to schools this morning
Year 11 pupils Emma Dillon, 16, and George Martin, 16.
George said: 'It's good to be back in school as it was much more difficult to learn at home. This is our last year at the school and it is important to be here for the last few months to get that closure. The school has been five years of my life and you want to be here to be able to say goodbye.'
Emma added: 'I'm really hopeful this will be the last lockdown. It is much easier to learn in school where I feel much more motivated.'
‘Hopeful this will have been the last school lockdown.’
Priory School Year 11 pupils Ava Errington-Noden, 15, and Dylan Evans, 16.
Ava said: 'I have been really looking forward to getting back to school and to see people again. I'm really hopeful this will have been the last school lockdown.'
Dylan added: 'It's just a relief to be back in school - it gets exhausting being stuck indoors all the time. What I have missed most is having that social contact. I have missed both my friends and teachers. '
Priory School today welcomed back 240 Year 11 students with the rest of the school set to return tomorrow. Year 11 students had to undergo a second lateral flow test after taking their first test last week.
Headteacher Stewart Vaughan said: 'As staff, we formed a guard of honour for our returning students and we are thrilled about them coming back. Today is about giving them a huge welcome and looking at what they need to do for their GCSEs. I am cautiously optimistic the students will be back for good.'
‘It’s been so boring stuck indoors'
12-year-old Ryan Jennings back Park Community School - after returning last Monday as he has been ‘doing his mum’s head in’.
He said: ‘It’s been so boring stuck indoors. I’ve been tested before - it almost made me sick. But it’s good to get tested so we stop Covid. This last year has been rubbish - we should have a big party when this is all over.’
‘We are genuinely excited to have the children back'
Andy Young, deputy head at Mengham Infants, said: "We are all genuinely really excited to have the children back. It's been lovely seeing their engagement when they were learning at home, but they are missing the social side of school. We wanted this day to be a celebration - it's important for them to feel that we're desperate to have them back. We want them to feel that school is a safe, happy, supportive place."
Pupils line up for tests at Priory School
Students return to Priory School
Celebration at Mengham Infant School this morning
It's a celebration at Mengham Infants this morning as the school is holding a party with music, games, and decorations to welcome pupils back to the classroom
‘It's nice to see everyone again.'
Amelia Willis, Claire Willis and Jacob Willis.
Jacob, Year 4, said: 'I'm excited to be back but also a bit nervous because I haven't been to school in a long time. It's nice to see everyone
‘I’ve missed doing maths’
Mimi Harvey-Gutteridge, Year 4, with mum Gemma. Mimi said: 'I am excited to be back at school. I've missed doing maths, it's my favourite subject.'
The Gomer Junior School pupil added that she will miss her mum very much.
Children return to Park Community School
Pupil ‘excited’ to return to Mengham Infant
Paul Frampton with daughter Poppy, who is really excited for the back to school party at Menghams Infants today.