By Jenness Mitchell & Susan Ripoll
Many school pupils are “excited” to be back in the classroom for the first time since Christmas, with one boy saying the stress of online learning gave him a “tick” in his eye.
On Monday, children in primaries 4-7 across Scotland joined their younger schoolmates who were the first to return last month.
Senior secondary school pupils required to attend for practical work for qualifications were also able to go back from February 22.
Now, all high school students will return part-time as part of a blended learning approach with some home learning until after the Easter break.
STV News visited Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School in Glasgow, where the children said they were ecstatic to return.
P6 pupil Christopher McCann said: “I was excited to see all my friends.”
The ten-year-old said he wasn’t a fan of online learning.
He explained: “It’s much harder because I think everybody works much better with pen and paper, not a screen.
“And it also gave me a tick in my eye because of the stress, and I just didn’t like it.”
Classmate Grace Simmons, ten, was also happy to be back.
She said: “It’s good because my sister went back three weeks ago and it was quite quiet in the house – she wasn’t there to make all the noise.
“It’s really good because I haven’t seen [my friends] since before Christmas. I’ve only saw a couple of them at football.”
Fellow P6 pupil Lucy Armstrong, 11, said she was “excited” to see her friends and teacher, but added that she enjoyed spending time with her mum while learning at home.
Classmate Oliver Freel said it felt “weird” being back amongst other people and classmates.
He added: “I’m quite excited to see my friends and see my teacher, and because it’s better being in school than just doing online.”
The ten-year-old said it was tough learning at home when stuck on something.
He explained: “You can ask [the teacher], but she’ll need to make a new video and it’s a lot of hassle. So it’s hard if you’re stuck on a question.”
The pupils have returned to the safety measures put in place before the winter break with the likes of hand sanitisers throughout the school and staggered playtimes.
Teacher Margaret Ann McCluskey described it as the “new normal”.
The P6 teacher said staff at the school were “absolutely excited” to see the children back.
She added: “They are so happy to be here, and as teachers, the whole school, the whole staff, are very excited to have our children in front of us.
“They certainly have worked very hard during lockdown, but school is so much more than digital learning, you know, the interaction is so vital and important in the job that we do.
“And the children socially interacting with each other is what education is all about these days.
“This will be our next recovery phase that we’re in now, so it gives the children a chance to get back into school routine and to socialise with each other and to familiarise themselves again with our learning.
“So we are in another recovery phase and then we hopefully will continue with our deep learning, supporting and challenging children thereafter.”