Published: 18:55, 08 March 2021
| Updated: 09:49, 09 March 2021
Children across the country dusted off their book bags today as schools re-opened after two months of lockdown.
Pupils from Delce Academy, in Rochester, spent the day re-integrating with a focus on mental wellbeing and staff at St Michael's Catholic Primary, in Chatham, wore fancy dress and decorated the school to welcome back its cohort.
To make the transition easier, Delce Academy, in The Tideway, had given each child a pair of wooden hearts to decorate so a piece of home can stay with them when they go to school.
Some children received return packs through the post, which included social stories, reminders of what to get ready for the first day, dinner menus and mindfulness activities.
Teachers and members of the school's pastoral team visited some pupils in the weeks before the return to help break down any barriers caused by lockdown.
Senior home school support worker, Carlie Tyler, said: "We completed a scaling activity, where the children rated their feelings about coming back to school.
"One child said 'when I woke up this morning I was a two, I was so nervous, but now I'm an eight'.
"As a school, we are so proud of all the children today. They have shown resilience and determination, and have had smiles whilst doing so."
Year 6 pupil Blake wrote a poem to help his classmates manage their feelings.
It read: "Please talk, or go for a walk. Know that it's okay to be sad, please don't feel bad.
Ask for support, Laugh 'till you snort. Write, paint or draw, be silly on a dancefloor. Appreciate lovely things, embrace what life brings."
Pupils from St Michael's Catholic Primary School, in Hill's Terrace, welcomed its pupils back with balloons and bunting.
Head teacher Katherine Sexton said: "The staff have gone to great lengths to decorate the school both in and out with some staff even dressing up as penguins to link in with our whole school book.
"The children loved it and so did the whole school community."
Swingate Primary, in Chatham, has given its pupils something to look forward to as its prepares to open its new school library on March 31.
The Whimbrel Walk school will use the opening as a belated World Book Day celebration.