YESTERDAY marked the first day back to school for Glasgow pupils in almost five months.

A mixture of emotions were shared among Balornock families on the grounds of St Catherine’s Primary school as they waved their tots off to return to a new normal.

Feelings of relief, nervousness and joy were divided among parents and carers as teachers welcomed new and returning pupils through the school doors for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown.

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Roslyn Kelly, whose daughter started primary one yesterday, told the Glasgow Times: “I’ve been feeling a bit anxious about the return but I’m really satisfied with everything that the school has put in place to make it a safe environment.

“They’ve been amazing at contacting us and keeping us in the loop with what’s going on. My wee one is really excited to get back and I think it’s time now.

“I’ll miss them - even though I’ve been dying to get them to go back. I’ll probably go home and miss her now.”

Meanwhile Shannon Donnelly - whose daughter also started primary one - spoke of contentment as she waved her daughter off to embark on her education.

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She said: “I’m really happy for my daughter to go and I haven’t had any worries at all. She’s starting primary one and I’m just so happy she’s going.

“I think it’s the right time and that we need to get back to a sense of normal. I’m not worried at all.

“She’s definitely been needing a routine back and she needs to see her friends again. It has been boring for even us as adults staying in the house all the time so it must be so much harder for the kids.”

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Although expressed with a little worry, all parents agreed that the timing was right for the children's return and that there has been a need for solid routine in the youngsters' lives.

Michaela Curran, who also sent her daughter off to her very first day of primary school, said: "I think I’m feeling at ease only because my daughter is really excited to go. Otherwise I think I would be really nervous.

“I suppose we are also a bit more at ease because we’ve worked the whole way through lockdown, so a classroom environment can’t be much different to that.

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“I’ve loved having her home and we’ve had such a special time together during lockdown.

"It’s the only think I have liked about lockdown is spending that time with her. She learnt how to ride her bike, it was special to have that extra time, but it is time for a bit of normality now.”

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Mum Lisa Sutherland added: "I’m looking forward to my daughter getting into the school year and learning and having a good experience.

“She’s my baby and I will miss her. It’s a big change for us coming away from nursery and going into the big school but she’s ready.

“I’m confident that the school has done everything it possibly can do keep the kids safe. When it’s put into practice we will soon see. Hopefully all the rules are stuck to and the wee ones can stay in school."

Schools across Scotland have been vigorously preparing for the pupils' return by maximising the use of outdoor spaces and by implementing strict hygiene measures with phased breaks and lunches.

Head teacher, Mrs Michelle Wright shared a confident and positive outlook on the year that lies ahead as she welcomed her pupils back St Catherine's.

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She said: "We’ve been thinking and planning around the changes that we’ve had to make to keep the boys and girl safe.

“We know it’s a big step coming back to school and we know that there will be some trepidation for parents and families as children come back today.

“We called around all of our new primary one parents this morning just to give everybody a little bit of reassurance and explain the procedures on how things were going to work because we know it is a little bit different from normal.

“We’re hoping that everybody will come in and that the boys and girls will have loads of fun. Their classes are all set up, their teachers and staff are all ready. We’re good to go.

"For a long time now, we’ve been planning for this since April originally for the blended learning module and when the Scottish Government made the announcement at the end of July obviously we changed our plans round to bring everybody back.

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“That meant just slight tweaks to the plans we had already made. So we have thought about everything, we’re ready for everything and we absolutely do have a positive outlook.

“We’re really excited. Teachers teach because they love children and they want to make an impact on their lives and it is hard to do that online.

“We did lots of things online during lockdown but it isn’t the same as having everybody in the school. When we worked in the school, we missed them. A school isn’t the same place without children in it.”