Post-lockdown experiences: Returning to school life

"We have to stand up and eat lunch because there isn’t enough time to clean the tables"

Children in art class at school

Now most children are back at school after 6 months at home, we spoke to children aged 6-13 across England to hear what their experiences have been like.

Without exception, every child we spoke to was enjoying the social aspect of returning to school.

Sofia, aged 6 told us, “I like seeing my friends and having a new teacher.” While Garth aged 10 agreed he was happy to see his friends after 6 months.

The transition from primary school to secondary school can be both daunting and exciting for children. And this year, kids across the country have made the move in extraordinary circumstances.

For Priya, who has just started year 7, it’s been a mixed bag.

“We had a virtual tour before we started but we didn’t get to visit, and I’m fed up with being in the same class all day.”

And while some aspects of school life remain the same, there have been some noticeable changes, particularly around how the school day is structured.

Aiyden, aged 6 says, “I don’t like that we get shorter playtimes outside and no hot food on Friday.”

Saskia, aged 9, explains that at her school, “we always have to walk on the left hand side and the playground is divided up so we don’t have much space to play.”

And at her new school, Priya tells us, “we have to stand up and eat lunch because there isn’t enough time to clean the tables.”

All the children we spoke to expressed frustration with only being allowed to play with people in their bubbles.

It’s early days still, but every child we spoke to was happy to be back in school for the social aspect. However, this small snapshot reveals challenges and teething problems as schools, students and families adapt to the new way of life.

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