Wakefield headteacher praises 'amazing' staff and students on return from lockdown

The leader of a Wakefield academy has praised her "amazing" community for their support as students returned to school for the first time in two months.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 9:34 am
The leader of a Wakefield academy has praised her "amazing" community for their support as students returned to school for the first time in two months. Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Schools across the district reopened to all pupils this week following more than two months of closure.

And despite new rules around wearing masks and frequent testing for students, Lisa Allott, principal of Normanton’s Outwood Academy Freeston, said she had seen staff and students “beaming” with excitement as they arrived at school on Monday.

She said: “You know when you’re just taken aback by how amazing people are?

“It is absolutely brilliant to be back, it has been wonderful. The academy is full and attendance is amazing.

"The students are just so happy to be back and not looking at a screen. They're so happy to be with their friends and back learning with a teacher in front of them.

“And the staff have been fantastic. I'm so proud of how we've responded and how amazing staff have been.

"As amazing as you can make online learning, there is nothing like being back in the classroom."

While some schools have opted for a staggered start to allow staff and students time to adapt to the new rules and testing regimes, students at Freeston were tested in the run-up to the first day back at school.

This meant that all staff and students could return as planned on Monday, ahead of their second and third in-school tests.

Ms Allott said: "We did our first tests before the weekend, so we've got all students back right from the start.

“It really is a decision for each academy, but it was the right thing to do for our academy.

"The students are amazing. There's no fuss about the second test, they take the test and then head back to lessons. It's like a little carousel of children.

"Even in the testing room we have music playing, we make it a really nice, warm environment."