THERE were plenty of happy faces and even a few excited skips when primary school pupils returned to the classroom after months away.

On Monday, March 15, all remaining primary school children were given the green light to go back to onsite learning in Wales.

The Welsh Government is also permitting all Learners in qualification years and more students in colleges, and those carrying out training, to return to onsite learning.

Flexibility is being offered to pupils in year 10 and 12.

Mair Evans, headteacher at Ysgol Dewi Sant in Rhyl, said it was a “real delight” to have the whole school family back together again.

“Welcoming Key Stage Two children back on Monday was, as much anticipated, an exciting day for all,” Ms Evans said.

“We were ecstatic to see all the beaming faces arrive on site in the morning and the smiles didn’t end there as the children caught-up with friends, shared stories from lockdown and enjoyed the routine of a school day. To hear laughter, children working hard and normality fill the corridors is wonderful, no other noise compares.”

Rona Jones, at Ysgol Emmanuel in Rhyl, was also delighted.

“We were so happy to have all the children back in school with us on Monday,” she said.

“We want to thank our parents and carers for being so supportive this term and for helping us to make the transition back to school run so smoothly for Foundation Phase and now Key Stage Two.”

A lot of children have not been in school since December.

The schools, like others, have had to adapt and have implemented precautions in the hope of avoiding Covid cases.

Ysgol Dewi Sant - the school family back together! and children at Ysgol Y Foryd settle back in

Ysgol Dewi Sant - 'the school family back together!' and children at Ysgol Y Foryd settle back in

Ms Evans said: “We have taken many, carefully planned precautions to keep everyone as safe as possible.

“We have one-way systems, separate entrances and exits for various year group bubbles, staggered leaving times, an in-house cleaner sanitising touch points throughout the day, sanitation points, thorough ventilation, and extra toilet facilities to avoid year-group bubbles crossing paths.

“We are thankful to all members of our school community who have followed our guidelines and continue to do so when on site at the start and end of every school day.

“The precautions are there for a reason - to keep everyone as safe as possible.”

Ms Jones added: “We have obviously had to adapt again as we did in the Autumn term but all health and safety measures are in place to try to keep everyone safe and we can now try to get back to normal.

“The Key Stage Two children loved being back in school, seeing their friends and having fun in lessons.

“It was lovely for us to see the happy faces of all our pupils and to have the whole school back together again.”

Schools began a phased return for foundation phase learners from February 22. This category included children between the ages of three and seven.

One of the schools welcoming children back at that time was Ysgol Y Foryd in Foryd.

Nicola Rowlands, headteacher, said: “We are so proud of the pupils, their resilience always amazes me and despite missing face-to-face teaching, they have gained important life skills during their time at home.

"We have focused heavily on health and wellbeing since returning to school and we have been doing lots of outdoor learning too. We were unable to have our usual school eisteddfod for St. David’s day but the classes all celebrated Saint David through their work.

"Schools in Conwy have worked closely with the local authority to ensure all safety measures have been put in place and all guidelines are adhered to.

"It is important that we continue to keep ourselves an others safe by remembering to keep a two-metre distance and wear a face covering when dropping off an collecting your child.

"Parents have been extremely supportive of the measures we have put in places, including a new one way system, staggered start and finish times and designated drop off and collection points.”