IT was all smiles this week as North Belfast staff welcomed back their pupils to the classroom.

Schools had been closed since March due to health and safety concerns amid the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

At Sacred Heart Boys Primary School on Oldpark Avenue, like so many schools, staff adopted a phased return with P7 pupils returning early before welcoming back those in P2 and above.

Principal Joanne Smyth said it was “wonderful” to see the children return.

“At Sacred Heart we have been having a wonderful week getting all our pupils back to school.   

“As always we have gone over and above and extended the back to school Education Authority’s guidelines that P7 should return to school early but we have had pupils from P2-P7 safely and very happily through our doors as well.

“We have been implementing safety and hygiene measures and provided all staff with PPE and have sanitising stations throughout the school.

During Covid we can't sing so some teachers have been creative with their musical talent. Now for the cleaning...

Publiée par Sacred Heart Boys Primary School sur Mardi 25 août 2020

“The pupils have been involved in lots of fun lessons and discussions about everything from cleaning their hands, to thinking about their worries and anxieties to setting targets for the year to come.   

“We are delighted that the transition from home back to school has gone so well and look forward to another successful year in Sacred Heart”.  

Meanwhile, Education Minister Peter Weir has recommended that pupils and teachers wear a face covering in corridors and other communal areas of post-primary schools from August 31 when many schools return full-time.