Students across the country complete the first term of the academic year in presence of the ongoing pandemic.

On the week beginning the 31st of August, thousands of nursery, primary, secondary and college students returned back to school after a six month leave since the 20th of March. Long gone was the world of home schooling and online learning but new found was the world of adapted public school. Many parents expressed concern and anxiety towards the government’s decision for a return but nonetheless, the plan commenced and that is how we find ourselves at this article.

Schools broke up for a one to two-week half-term holiday during the past week, successfully finishing the first term of the academic year despite the challenges it posed. Many students however would have found themselves leaving their peers at earlier dates as outbreaks occurred across schools such as Longfield Academy, Wilmington Grammar School for Girls and Hurst Primary School to name a few. In situations where a student tested positive for Coronavirus, the guidance was that they made their school aware of their state so that themself, and any other students who had come into close contact with them could be advised to also self-isolate for 14 days from their last date of contact – seldom did any schools have to close completely to all pupils.

As students enjoy their holiday away from school, many are also reflecting on their first completed term and their future education, still in presence of the pandemic. I spoke to a Dartford mother of two, namely Mrs A., about her thoughts and feelings before her children started Term 1;

‘I didn’t feel comfortable but I new that the school would take extra measures to make the kids feel safe. I still wasn’t 100% okay and it definitely wasn’t easy for a parent to allow their child to just go to school like that.’ 

I then spoke to both of her children about their experience in this first term;

‘It went kind of good’ said her eldest child, ‘everything turned out like normal school and I wasn’t as scared as before’.

Her younger sister also expressed similar views saying that

‘Its been good, I liked learning things again and meeting my friends after a long time’

I also got them to look into the future too and anticipate the swiftly approaching new term.

Gleefully, Mrs A.’s first child expressed that ; ‘I feel happy now and I know that its safe to go to school. I’m not as scared as I was on the first day’.

Her second child also feels ‘happy because I can do more things’ – foreseeing a future where restrictions will be lessened and she can ‘see my sister in school’ again.

She also tracked back to the summer terms in the previous academic year and her experience with remote learning, displaying that she was please to have completed it and can now school in the traditional manner. 

In approximately one week from now, students will return to school again to start term 2 with added ease after the completion of the first term. Notwithstanding, as cases continue to rise and the rate of developed antibodies after infection start to fall, we can expect that the preventative measures in school shall still remain the same until further notice.