As schools across the nation open once again, it is with a mixture of joy and relief that St Anthony's and its partner schools have reopened their doors. Amongst all the happy smiling faces, not only of the pupils but the staff as well, are those of the new teacher training cohort who took their first step on their new career path this week, spending a day in the St Mary's Learning Hub, be inducted into the policies and practices of teaching.
Schools may look slightly different as they follow the new restrictions and safety guidelines, but this hasn't dampened the enthusiasm of the children or the staff, and so it is likely that unless things change again, the memory of Lockdown and all its home-schooling frustrations will soon seem a distant memory.
In addition to the normal challenges though, will be the added burden of getting the children back up to their excellent levels of work, as well as making sure that they are happy and safe and able to deal with the changed environment and the huge difference from being locked-in to sharing the company of a classful of children.
It will no doubt be an interesting and challenging time for all and a learning curve, not just for the trainees and NQTs, but also for the seasoned veterans for whom this year has been unlike any other in their distinguished career.
We wish them, all our school colleagues, and especially their pupils all the very best for the year ahead!