'So thrilled' - Schools across Lowestoft welcome return of pupils

Back with friends at Pakefield Primary School, as pupils build a tower.

Back with friends at Pakefield Primary School, as pupils build a tower. Picture: Pakefield Primary School - Credit: Pakefield Primary School

After months learning remotely, there were smiles aplenty, cheers, waves and a few nerves across Lowestoft as children returned to the classroom.

Welcome back everyone - a warm welcome at Pakefield Primary School in Lowestoft.

Welcome back everyone - a warm welcome at Pakefield Primary School in Lowestoft. Picture: Pakefield Primary School - Credit: Pakefield Primary School

Pupils returned to Pakefield Primary School in Lowestoft after nine weeks away with a range of engaging mental health and wellbeing activities to support health and happiness.

The school, which caters for more than 400 pupils, started the week with creative mental health activities, PE challenges and mindfulness sessions.

Smiles aplenty as Pakefield Primary School pupils return to the classroom.

Smiles aplenty as Pakefield Primary School pupils return to the classroom. Picture: Pakefield Primary School - Credit: Pakefield Primary School

Martyn Payne, headteacher at the school on London Road, said: “We were so thrilled to welcome our pupils and their families back to school after many weeks apart.

Back with friends at Pakefield Primary School, as pupils have fun in the playground.

Back with friends at Pakefield Primary School, as pupils have fun in the playground. Picture: Pakefield Primary School - Credit: Pakefield Primary School

"With our children spending so much time away from school amid difficult circumstances, we wanted to ensure that mental health and wellbeing is at the top of our priority list to help ease the children back into a classroom environment.”

Smiles aplenty as Pakefield Primary School pupils return to the classroom.

Smiles aplenty as Pakefield Primary School pupils return to the classroom. Picture: Pakefield Primary School - Credit: Pakefield Primary School


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The school, which is part of The Active Learning Trust, had a fantastic response from its community during lockdown, with daily remote learning lesson attendance always within the 90pc to 100pc range.

Back with friends at Pakefield Primary School, as pupils enjoy some fine motor skills fun.

Back with friends at Pakefield Primary School, as pupils enjoy some fine motor skills fun. Picture: Pakefield Primary School - Credit: Pakefield Primary School

Mr Payne added: “I want to thank our incredible community who have helped us so much during this last lockdown with their ongoing praise and support – we couldn’t have done it without them."

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For Heather Madsen, headteacher of Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft, it was an emotional return.

Mrs Madsen said: “I had to hold back a few tears when I saw most of our pupils return this week.

“It’s going well so far. 99 per cent of our students are back, settled and happy.

“We’ve adjusted the curriculum to meet student’s needs and teachers are using games and quizzes to check what they have learnt over lockdown.

“The children are so happy to be back and there was so much cheering and waving.

“We had one or two anxious children but after a few minutes they settled well.

“I hope this is the last time schools will be forced to close.

“I feel as a school we have gone above and beyond during what have been unprecedented times.

“I would just like to say a huge thank you to the teachers and wonderful parents at our school.”

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