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Pupils are back home

Rochester Math School pupils return from Hong Kong
Rochester Math School pupils return from Hong Kong

Children who had been stranded in the Far East by the volcano ash delays have returned home.

There was joy and relief for families as they welcomed the students from the Rochester Math School on Saturday.

They had been due to return from the 10-day trip to Hong Kong on Friday, April 16 but it had been feared they wouldn’t return until May 15 at the earliest, just days before some pupils are due to take their first GCSE exams.
But after a week of worry, they were finally able to board a plane bound for Heathrow, at 11pm, on Friday, when BA scheduled an extra flight.
As the coach approached the school gates in Maidstone Road, the boys rushed to the windows to catch a glimpse of their waiting families.

Mum Catherine Stephenson, whose 12-year-old son Jonathan was on the trip, said: “I don’t think there were any tears, people were just so overjoyed. Parents were waving and jumping up and down. It was brilliant.
“It was a shock when we were told they might not be home until May 15, so when we got the news they were coming home on Friday, it was a huge relief.
“We were all really excited to see Jonathan, especially his little brother Josh, who is six. He has really missed him.”
It was Jonathan’s first long holiday away from home without his parents, and one he says he will never forget.
He said: “It’s great to be back. I have been missing home and it was a bit worrying because we didn’t know for certain when we could get a flight back.
“It was amazing when we were told the news that we could come home on Friday. We had been due to go swimming so at first they just told us swimming was cancelled so we were all disappointed. Then they told us why and we all screamed.”
Helen Nunn’s 16-year-old son Jonathan was also on the trip.
The 46-year-old, from Chattenden, said: “Everyone is so relieved to have the boys home. I don’t think they understood what all the fuss was about.
“I don’t think they realised we were so anxious or why we were anxious. ”

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