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New term brings a fresh start

Millions of children and young people will be starting the new academic year next month. Although caution is still needed, the coming academic year can be approached with optimism. As the new term nears, we talk to parents, pupils and teachers to discover what they are most looking forward to.

For schools and colleges, easing of restrictions means ...

1 Bubbles are no longer advised

2 No social distancing

3 Under-18s exempt from self-isolation

4 Assemblies and sport can resume

5 After-school clubs can restart

Rapid COVID-19 testing will remain with pupils taking two tests a week in order to control the spread of the virus. There are huge benefits of testing – it’s quick, offers peace of mind and helps to protect friends and family.

Recruitment company managing director mum Kelly Dunn and her two children Bobby and Darcey are all looking forward to the new term. Bobby, aged 16, starts his A-level courses at Scarborough Sixth Form College soon. “Going to  college is a new start, a fresh start, a change of scenery,” said Bobby, set to study music, media and history or psychology. “It is closing the door on school and opening a door on a new life,” added Bobby, an accomplished guitarist.

His five-year-old sister Darcey will join year one of the primary school in the North Yorkshire village where the family live. “I am looking forward to being able to play with all my friends in the playground. I also like playing in the different areas of the classroom.” Mrs Dunn said: “Darcey will be able to mix with with all the children, not just her bubble, in the playground.

“We are looking forward to Bobby’s A-level years because they are as important as GCSEs. It changes you from a child into a young adult. It is that life-changing couple of years.”

 

LOOKING FORWARD TO NEW TERM: Kelly Dunn and her teenage son Bobby and five-year-old daughter Darcey.

‘It’ll have a positive effect on wellbeing’

A Birmingham headteacher is excited about the term ahead. Enass Al-Ani, who oversees 1,200 pupils at Small Heath Leadership Academy, said: “Students will be able to enjoy the full school experience, mixing with their friends and not just with their year group.

“It’s going to have such a positive impact on their wellbeing and their experience of high quality education. The staff have done an incredible job.

“They’re very excited about going back to near normal and their own classrooms and interacting in a way they need to.”

Enass Al-Ani, Headteacher

 

Vaccine for pupils aged 16-17

Young people aged 16 to 17 in England have been offered a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to give them vital protection before returning to school.

Teenager Bobby Dunn, who has had his first jab, encouraged others to get vaccinated.

“Once they announced it, I said as soon as I got the chance to get the vaccine I was having it,” said the 16 year-old.

Find your nearest centre through the ‘grab a jab’ NHS online walk-in finder.

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