Daisy Dewsnap: How pupils are feeling about returning to school

Daisy Dewsnap, a 15-year-old from Mossley who attends Saddleworth School, writes for the Reporter. This week she's been speaking to pupils of different ages about how they're feeling about heading back to the classroom in these strange times.

With the return to school upon us, there will be many mixed emotions. We’re all expecting lots of changes in our daily routines and anticipating that the school we’ll be returning to won’t be the one we know it as.

There will be new rules, new standards, new regulations. I spoke to a variety of people between the ages of 12 and 15 about their feelings as we prepare to go back to school; the things they’re looking forward to and what their biggest concerns or worries are.

Jess, who’s going into Year 11, said: “I am most looking forward to the social aspect of school; although we will be in bubbles, I will still be able to see and talk to my friends and classmates every day which is something I couldn’t do a lot during lockdown. 

“My biggest concern/worry is preparing for my GCSEs. I am worried that we have not had enough time to learn the curriculum in as much detail as needed and that might give us a disadvantage when the exams come round.”

Max, who is also going into Year 11, said: “When I go back to school I’m most looking forward to socialising with friends again and being able to have help from the teacher when needed, instead of waiting for them online. 

“I have many concerns about going back to school such as how GCSEs are going to take place, as although I’ve tried with home learning, I feel behind in certain subjects.”

Ryan, who will be starting in Year 9, said: “I am excited to meet my friends again but I’m slightly worried about beginning my GCSE’s with the new restrictions.”

Millie, who will also be going into Year 9, said: “I’m most looking forward to having a new setting, rather than just looking straight out of the same window every day, and seeing all of my friends again. 

“My biggest worry or concern is the safety, because even though they’re trying everything possible to make school safe I still don’t 100 per cent feel like I am.”

Lucy, who will be going into Year 10, told me: “I would say that the thing I am looking forward to the most is getting back into a proper classroom where I’ll be in a good mindset to learn.

“I’m also looking forward to seeing people that I haven’t been able to see in person during lockdown! 

“My biggest concern is definitely the possibility of relearning topics in school that we did in the lockdown period. If we did this, I would definitely feel as though the work we have done over the past few months was for nothing.”

Another student starting Year 9 told me: “I’m probably most looking forward to seeing my friends and getting back into a routine. And my biggest worry is probably the new rules and how they handle the virus may be confusing.”

Holly, who will be starting Year 8, said: “I am excited about seeing everyone after so long, as well as having the chance to do school work at school and having teachers in lessons. 

“I’m looking forward to putting my school uniform back on and just being back in school in general. I’m worried about the new type of normal as I only just settled into secondary school life and now it’s changing again.”

Leah, who will be going into Year 11, said: “I’m most looking forward to seeing friends I’ve not been able to see for ages and getting back to a bit of normality, as well as getting back to focusing on my GCSEs. 

“I’m a bit worried about how if the virus was to come back, we’d have to go back to home schooling as that would have a huge effect on our GCSEs.”

Personally, I am most looking forward to having the opportunity to enjoy my final year at high school as lockdown has certainly encouraged me to be more appreciative and not take as many things for granted. 

I’m excited to see all of my friends, although I’m slightly worried about how school will regulate & enforce all of the new guidelines. I’m also concerned that, during quarantine, I may have missed out on certain aspects of my GCSE syllabus so won’t know everything I need to when I sit my exams.

I would never have imagined that this would be how I’d be entering Year 11! 

There are many various misconceptions and worries circulating amongst people but I think the best thing we can do is just take each day as it comes and understand that it’s in everyone’s best interests to avoid another lockdown.

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