Back to school: 'Great to have all pupils' back says Fife rector
The rector of Kirkcaldy High School has spoken of his delight at being able to welcome all pupils back to school full-time following the Easter break.
Derek Allan’s comments come after secondary pupils across Fife returned to school full-time from Monday.
Schools have been busy planning a safe return to classrooms after the pandemic had a significant impact on studies as pupils and teachers adapted to home learning.
Measures, including wearing face masks, are now in place to ensure everyone returns safely.
Mr Allan said: “It has been great to have all the pupils back in school . The kids have been really good at following all the rules on hygiene and masks.
"Pupils are also being asked to do lateral flow tests at home twice a week, on a Wednesday and a Sunday – they are doing the swab tests which give the results right away. Only a handful are not taking part with parents refusing to give consent.
"We have had a couple of positive tests which needed to be checked, but the kids stayed at home while it was sorted so it is working well.”
He said pupils have also been good at wearing face coverings:
“We have a few with medical exemptions – kids with respiratory difficulties – but we have a badge system for them, so it is working fine,” he said.
"There is no social distancing among pupils but managing them safely through the dinner hall is quite difficult because we have 1400 pupils, and it is really busy.
"But they have been great at not crowding and are keeping two metres distance from the teachers.
"We have hand sanitiser stations in place and pupils wipe their own desks down as well before and after every lesson. The windows are open as well so there is enough ventilation."
But Mr Allan was keen to rubbish some reports circulating in the media about lost learning for pupils and claims of it affecting them for the rest of their lives.
“It is difficult enough for kids getting back to school without them feeling their lives are over because of this ‘lost learning’ they are never going to make up. Some reports I have read in the media are scandalous – the financial losses kids are going to suffer over their lifetime and other rubbish.
"I am keen that it isn’t seen as lost learning – I prefer to use the term ‘interrupted learning’.
“A lot of kids have done well with online learning and they are full of potential and ready to get going again.
"They have also have picked up other skills while they haven’t been in school such as resilience, and they are far better with online learning skills now. In a lot of cases they have learned the value of independent study and that is going to be a useful life skill particularly with working from home likely to be the case in the future.”
He added: “I want to thank everyone for bearing with us - the teachers for putting in the hours in online learning and the parents for their input.
"But there is now a real buzz about the school again which is fantastic.”