'Couldn't be more proud' - Mums reflect on children's resilience amid Covid
- Credit: Emma Bailey
It's been a year like no other with the disruption and devastation caused by coronavirus, and our children have had to be more resilient than ever before.
That's why we are celebrating the youngsters who joined Reception in September, having to adapt to learning in bubbles, missing out on sports days, assemblies and learning remotely, all while navigating a new environment.
A pull-out picture special will be available in tomorrow's Ipswich Star newspaper filled with pictures of Reception classes to celebrate the special milestone and reflect on their achievements.
One parent, Emma Bailey, said she felt very fortunate to be able to send her daughter India to school throughout the pandemic, as she is the child of a keyworker.
"I never took for granted the way that schools, teachers and parents had to adapt and evolve to meet the demands of lockdown and education," said Emma.
"Every day I made sure I said thank you.
"India's classes were much smaller and she had different teachers, but I felt this taught her how to adapt and be flexible."
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She said India had been in nursery since she was just 10 months old, and felt this had already made her a "resilient character".
Emma said what she did miss was her friendship group — many of whom couldn't attend school.
She said: "We had lots of conversations around the whys and made sure that we kept in contact via Teams or Facetime so they could still see each other. I felt this was really important.
"I will never forgot the day they all returned; just to see their huge smiles!
"Everyone has had to endure so much throughout the pandemic on so many different levels but it's really tough to try and explain to a five-year-old why the world suddenly became so different.
"I'm really excited about this September and India moving into Year 1. It just feels like a chance to start again and do it properly."
Jodie Osborn said her daughter Freya, who started Henley Primary School last year, has "taken it all in her stride".
Jodie works as a nurse so Freya also attended school throughout the lockdown, and she "didn't seem phased at all" to only have six people in her classroom.
"The school did an amazing job with online learning, offering live lessons all day every day!"
"Only two weeks into school life she came home with the head teacher's star award! I couldn’t have been any more proud.
"I think our young children are very resilient and as they have known no different to their school life it is the parents who have felt the sadness at what they have missed out on.
"Not seeing her first sports day, no assemblies, no face-to-face parents evening so that we can look at their work etc.
"All the children throughout the past year have amazed me with how they have felt with all the changes thrown at them."
Meanwhile, Hannah's daughter Isla started Reception at Britannia school in September, before being home-schooled by her parents when the country went into lockdown in November.
Hannah said: "Words cannot express how proud I am of her, how she’s taken Covid and all the restrictions in her stride, reacted maturely and always had a beautiful smile and positive perspective —
"It’s very sad to have missed out on her first school photos, first nativity, first parents evening and first sports day, etc. Things we will never get back.
"Isla’s school have been amazingly supportive and we are so proud to see our daughter being able to fluently read story books, trying to read everything and anything when we are out and about — something she’s learnt to do in just the few months she’s been there! Incredible."
Make sure you pick up tomorrow's Ipswich Star to get your hands on our special supplement of Reception class photos.