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Well, hello Buddy Bear!

- By Hugh Boag editor@arranbanne­

Pupils from six Arran primary schools and early years classes were welcomed by a new buddy when they went back to school this week. Buddy Bear, wearing the school values t-shirt with a friendly poem attached, was waiting on the youngsters’ desks on their return. Pirnmill Primary School pupils are pictured above with their new buddies.

Pupils on Arran joined children across Scotland in returning to school this week.

All primary and early years classes are back full time with part-time face-to-face teaching for pupils at Arran High School.

Children at six of the primary schools and early years classes on the island were welcomed with a new friend called Buddy Bear - a little teddy wearing the school values t-shirt with a friendly poem attached, which brought a smile to everyone and much cuddling.

Head teacher of the Arran primary schools, with the exception of Lamlash, Shirley MacLachlan said: ‘I am delighted to have welcomed all the primary children back to school on Monday after being in lockdown since Christmas.


‘P4 - 7 returned, following the early years and P1-3 children who returned in February. The schools all sound like their old selves again, with footsteps, chatter and, most importantl­y, laughter.

‘Parents and carers have done an amazing job of following the home learning activities both online, through our Seesaw learning platform, through our home learning packs as well as lots of creative activities, inside and outdoors, so thank you one and all.

‘Our focus continues to be health and wellbeing and looking at routines and relationsh­ips as everyone ‘adjusts’ to being back in the swing of daily school life. In the curriculum, picking up on numeracy and literacy is also a main focus.

‘However, there still are some restrictio­ns we have to follow as part of government guidelines, including outdoor PE only and not been able to sing inside. We continue to learn Makaton songs, so singing… but not as we know it.

‘We are following guidance with lots of hand washing, ventilatio­n, wearing masks on transport, adults wearing masks in communal areas and distancing when applicable, as well as getting great support from parents and carers at the school gates who are also following the guidelines.’


Mrs MacLachlan asked some children what was the best part of being back at school and some of their replies were: ‘Seeing my friends’; ‘Eating altogether in the lunch hall’; ‘Seeing my teachers’; ‘Getting to do new work, including science’; ‘Seeing everyone’; ‘Playing in the playground with my friends’; ‘Not having to do home learning’; and ‘Wearing my school uniform - but it is a little shorter than before’. ‘With less than two weeks till the Easter break, there is a lot to get through and all teachers and staff will be working hard to ensure that learning continues for everyone,’ Mrs MacLachlan added.

All secondary school pupils on the island will be back in class at some point before the Easter holidays.

Half of the pupils were back this week with the other half next week.

They will then have two days each before the school closes for their spring holiday on Thursday April 1.

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 ??  ?? Pupils returning to Kilmory gather outside the school.
Pupils returning to Kilmory gather outside the school.
 ??  ?? Buddy Bear was waiting to welcome youngsters back to school.
Buddy Bear was waiting to welcome youngsters back to school.
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