Emerging from lockdown and back to school

After a summer break, our journalists return to reflect on life now and their return to school. Our journalists are Members of Children’s Parliament (MCPs) aged between 8 and 14 years old. In this journal, our MCPs use pseudonyms.


Looking back to the lockdown experience

Before writing about current experiences and the return to school our journalists first reflect on their overall experience of lockdown. So, looking back how would they sum it up?

One word would be boring. But I think I handled it really well and I picked up some new hobbies such as finger knitting. I spent a lot more time on my screen but I still managed to get outside a lot.
(Luna Love Art, age 10)

It was different. And it’s still going on. I was feeling happy about going back to school. I had missed being in a class. There were times when you didn’t get work, not like when you are at school. It wasn’t good learning at home. I was a wee bit worried though that I might have fallen behind.
(Skateboard Skater, age 13)

Lockdown was good because I got to spend more time with (my carers).  I got to eat too much food, especially chicken curry and pasta!  And I got to go to bed an hour or more later than usual, because everything else started a bit later. I also got to watch some films in the week, which I never usually get to do!
(B. Baggins age 12)

Looking back it was interesting. Because Coronavirus came and the whole world shut down overnight. It was weird not being able to go to or to see your friends, because I’m used to seeing them every day, and then I wasn’t able to see them at all. But I was able to get a hold of cousins and friends on the phone. It was good to be able to talk to them like that.
(Zoomer, age 10)

I would say that it was hard at the start because it was really strict and we couldn’t do much, but as it went along, it got better and I got used to it. I hope we don’t have to go into lockdown again.
(Beluga8, age 8)

Looking back it was just boring. There was nothing to do, you couldn’t go anywhere. Then we had a local lockdown, still felt the same!
(Creative Songstress, age 14)

Looking back it was pretty good because I was able to socialise with my mum and brother more. We’ve been doing board games and just talking more. (Ringtone, age 11)

It was quiet and lonely – although I had siblings to annoy me, it was hard not to go out and hang out with my friends like I would usually do.  When lockdown did loosen up, I couldn’t see my friends as much as I wanted to because everyone was being more cautious and careful.  It was hard not doing everything I usually would with my friends.
(Ultra-Bee, age 13)

I was alright with lockdown. Some things I needed a break from anyway, like having to get up earlier in the morning and lots of school work, but I missed seeing other people. It was all bit of positive and a bit negative. Negative were not really being able to see other people, not being able to go out for cycles, being in doors a lot more. But it was a bit of a break from school. I think it was alright, but this was the right time to go back to school.
(Mr. Cheese, age 11)

I found being in lockdown better because you could spend more time with your parents and you didn’t feel like school was taking away your time with your parents. I used to feel homesick when I was at school so it was good to spend more time at home. When I was learning from home, I would sometimes end up getting distracted and not doing what I was meant to be doing.
(Catnip, age 10)

Getting ready to go back to school

In the early summer months it remained unclear as to the model of learning or school attendance that children would be engaged in, but as the summer holidays progressed it became clearer that children would be returning to school. We asked our journalists to reflect on their feelings just before the return to school, to tell us what they were looking forward to, and if they had any worries.

I was quite excited about going back to school to be honest, easier not worrying about online work. Since I had already been at school for a year, I was ok with going. There were a bunch of P7’s who hadn’t seen the school yet, I think that must have been quite scary. I ended up thinking about it like a longer holiday, I was excited, but not ready for the new experience it was going to be. I was mainly looking forward to meeting my friends, most of my friends live in different areas and so I can’t always see them except at school. It had been a really long time!  I was also excited to do work, I found online work really hard and so kind of avoided it. I don’t think I was worried about anything, I am quite a healthy person, if I get it I wouldn’t expect to be too ill.  But, I am worried about family members catching it.
(Ultra-Bee, age 13)

I was a bit worried about going back to school because I was wondering what would happen if someone got Coronavirus in my school, but I was also excited to see all my friends again. I was a bit scared that someone might get sick and that I would get it.
(Beluga8, age 8)

I was excited about going back to school because I was getting new teachers and I was getting to see my friends again. I didn’t see much of my friends over lockdown, I spoke to them, especially when we were allowed to see each other again. I was looking forward to getting back to a bit of normality too! I wasn’t worried about anything.
(B. Baggins age 12)

I was really excited and kind of nervous. I was also really happy to see friends again and get back to school. I was looking forward to the school library because there’s loads of books in the library I haven’t read! And also just seeing my teacher and friends again. I suppose I was not really worried about anything, but nervous and unsure about how the school was going to be run and what the restrictions would be. I was really happy to hear that children wouldn’t have to social distance.
(Luna Love Art, age 10)

I was feeling pretty good because although I had seen some of my friends, I knew when I’d be back at school I’d see everybody. I was looking forward to seeing where I would sit and what classroom I would be in and I wondered if there’d be tons of rules and we wouldn’t be able to socialise with our friends or sit with them at our desks.
(Ringtone, age 11)

I was excited to go back to school and see friends again but I was a bit worried too. I was sure the home learning might put me a bit back and being back now it feels like we’ve just stated where we left off. Re-doing stuff. So it’s as if the learning during lockdown was separate. So I definitely prefer being back at school and not sitting on my bed with a laptop. There was nothing that I was worried about, about going back.
(Creative Songstress, age 14)

Before we went back it was kind of a bit weird because usually in the summer I can go to my gran’s and meet my cousins there, or they could come here, but we couldn’t do that. We managed to get a little pool out and, towards the end of the summer, my cousins could come around so it wasn’t so bad then. I was looking forward to seeing my friends again, because some of them, I couldn’t get a hold of, so I hadn’t spoken to them the entire lockdown. And I was looking forward to getting back to working in the classroom instead of working in my room, because I’ve been working on a small table which wasn’t easy. I wasn’t really worried about anything, I wasn’t sure how things were going to be but I was okay.
(Zoomer, age 10)

I was looking forward to seeing my friends. It’s been great seeing them. We’ve played this game about werewolves, zombies, vampires, witches. I also looked forward to seeing my teacher who is there to help me with my reading and writing – the stuff I struggle with. I was worried about how hard they work was going to be because P7s get very hard work!
(Catnip, age 10)

I was a bit worried about having to go back, but also a bit not worried because you’d get to see your friends again. A positive aspect was that my friend and I are in the same class, so it’s better than last term. I didn’t think we were going to be in the same class and he hasn’t been in my class for two years. I’ve just been looking forward to being able to get out and about and see other people. Our teacher is pretty good too, she’s quite nice. I was hoping it would be her, and it is, which is good. I wasn’t really worried much, apart from having to do all the work again and having to get up early.
(Mr. Cheese, age 11)

Planning for the return to school

In Journal 5 we explored how children got news and information about lockdown, the Coronavirus and the changes being implemented concerning life in the weeks and months to come. Now that journalists have returned to school we asked them to report on whether their school had been in touch with them about the return. We also ask if journalists had spoken with anyone about the return to school.

We were just told what day to go in, but we had had a Google Meet to explain how it would all work. We went back for one day the first week, for just two hours and we go our new timetable. We have to wear masks in the corridor, well we didn’t on that first day. And the bus was packed, no seats left when I got on and nobody was wearing a mask. So it’s good we are wearing masks now.
(Skateboard Skater, age 13)

School wasn’t in touch with me really. My mum got a couple of messages, but I didn’t get anything. I didn’t really talk to anyone about going back, not really, because I wasn’t worried about it, I was more just excited about it.
(Zoomer, age 10)

Some teachers just reminded us on Teams that school was coming back. They didn’t send us anything about what to bring or what to expect. I spoke to my best friend, she just started first year, so told them about all the things they should expect, and offered to help take them to class. My friends gran also asked me questions about the school too.
(Ultra-Bee, age 13)

School was in touch to say how things would work, so we can take the bus or get dropped off. But they didn’t tell us enough. Each year got a film with the Headteacher explaining how it would work. There have been changes so there are longer periods to stop people moving around so much, and we have different break times.
(Creative Songstress, age 14)

I’m not really sure if the school was in touch with me before we went back. I talked to my mum about going to school and it helped because it was mainly about how time flies – now I’m in primary seven! We have lots more responsibility in P7 – normally, you could be a prefect or part of the rota where you take the lunch lines or you’re in charge of the playground equipment.  But none of us have been picked for that yet. I feel like it probably won’t happen for a while because we’re not using equipment or having lunch in the dinner hall because of Coronavirus. We now have lunch in our classroom instead.
(Ringtone, age 11)

I didn’t talk to anyone about going back to school. The school emailed us the details, when they thought the school was going back, what they were doing to make it safe for us.  The first three days were going to be staggered, S1-2 on day 1 and S3-4 on day 2 then whole school on day 3. We got a phone call from guidance during lockdown.
(B. Baggins age 12)

My old teacher phoned me to see how I was doing and tell me about my new P5 teacher and we also got texts from the school and looked on the website. I talked to my mummy about what my worries were and what I was excited about and it made me feel calmer because I was telling my feelings about school.
(Beluga8, age 8)

Was the school in touch with me? Um, yes. Not a lot but some. They emailed my mum about stuff like you wouldn’t be able to bring a backpack or pencil cases. That’s actually really annoyed me because I love stationary stuff. I got a new stationary set for my birthday which I wasn’t allowed to bring. I talked to some of my friends and to my mum about going back to school. We talked about how the school was going to work. With my friends, we were mainly just wondering about…well, when the school first got in touch, it was all about how we were going to be going back on different days. So when I talked with friends it was about “which days are you going to be there?!” But then we found out that we were all going to be going at the same time. We were then just talking about how excited we were to see each other. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed my friends until I was talking to them face-to-face.
(Luna Love Art, age 10)

Before we went back we were doing Google Meets to see our new classmates and our new teachers. We had two Google Meets. I was saying to my mum that I was a bit worried about the change. That helped. She helped put a positive side to it.
(Mr. Cheese, age 11)

No the school wasn’t in touch with me – they were only in touch with my sister because she was going to high school. It would have been helpful though – especially to talk to me about how hard the work is going to be! I talked to my mum and she said that this whole thing might make me feel more ready for when I go to high school next year.
(Catnip, age 10)

Being back at school

After several weeks back in school our journalists can now report on that experience, and talk about what has been positive about the return as well as what has not been going so well.

At first I was feeling a bit nervous, because I hadn’t met my teacher yet, or been at a proper desk in ages, and I wasn’t sure how sure things were going to be. I didn’t know what the desks were going to be like, together or separated; if we could take our pencil cases in; what play time was going to be like; or how they would manage with hundreds of people in the school. It might be a bit chaotic. The best thing has been just be able to see my friends, because I like seeing them in person instead of over a screen, and to actually play with them. You can’t play a game of hide and seek over the phone. But what’s not so good is waking up early. Having to wash our hands so much. And it takes such a long time because there are so many of us washing our hands. There’s a break down the hall. So you’ve got less time to play.
(Zoomer, age 10)

I was feeling good when we went back because our teacher is really nice and she gave everyone time to settle back and get used to the new rules. The person who sits next to me is also really nice. We can actually get help when we’re learning and we can do different subjects that we couldn’t do at home. It’s better because when we were doing homeschooling in the house, it was just textbook work – mainly maths and spelling. But now we can do geography, maths, spelling, writing, handwriting, and a lot more subjects. We’re doing PE but it’s usually just going outside and walking around a patch of grass. We do play games on a Friday though.

Instead of being round tables, you’re in rows and you’re not allowed to look behind you because there could be people behind you and generally…all the rules are just really annoying. The lunch system! We used to be able to play at lunch all together. Now, you can only play with your class in the playground. When you’re outside playing, other classes are inside eating your lunch. And when other classes are outside, you’re inside eating your lunch. So you don’t play together.
(Ringtone, age 11)

I think it’s a bit of a shock from getting to lie in everyday and having to go to bed quite early again. It was more than half a year since I was at school, but I was feeling alright going back. The main thing was with going back was that the days felt very long. It felt like about nine hours at school and one hour at home. For some reason, it feels a lot longer than before. The best thing about being back is seeing everyone again and being active again. There’s not really much that’s not going well. The main thing is the long days. Well, the biggest shock was PE, because during lockdown I wasn’t moving a lot.
(Mr. Cheese, age 11)

It was hard getting used to the routine, like hand washing, because we do it at home but it’s different at school, but I liked being back again. The best thing is seeing my friends and playing with them at breaktime and in the park after school. I missed them. Most things are going well.
(Beluga8, age 8)

The first few days I was feeling good, feeling ok. The school was being quite good. I wasn’t unsure at first how it would work but the school are handling it well and the social distancing with teachers isn’t too bad. The best thing about being back is seeing my friends and being able to concentrate on my work because doing it home was hard. There was always stuff to distract me. Like even if the TV was on a different channel, I’d want to watch it and the radio is always on in the background so sometimes a song I like would come on and I’d start singing to it! I also like my new teacher and my new class. I like being in P7 because you’re basically the boss of the school after the teachers. People think it’s going to be really different in P7 because you’re going to high school the year after, but it’s basically the same but at a harder level. There’s nothing not going well. Nothing really, I think everything’s going pretty well. Now I can see my friends at school, it’s all good.
(Luna Love Art, age 10)

I was feeling that it would be weird. It was. People were nervous and excited. Everybody got on okay. It’s better being in school. I have caught up after all.
(Skateboard Skater, age 13)

I felt quite happy to be at school again. I missed school, a lot. I don’t enjoy being there, but I enjoy being there with my friends. Classes were a bit odd, even now, I’m still getting used to the whole hand sanitiser thing, and cleaning your desks all the time. Finding classes a bit hard but getting into the new routine. The best thing is seeing my friends. The work is going well, a lot easier to understand things for me when I am fully explained things, I found it much harder on a screen. I have more access to media in social subjects, I’m learning about slavery and dystopian writing. I feel like I have been given more trust this year, I am a bit older, I have more classes. I like the double period classes, it’s not so stop/start and it was easier to catch up and less books to carry in my bag. It is hard remembering the masks. One person in my year has tested positive – lots of people in my class went off, but they didn’t need to.  They were just worried about it. I personally felt ok, I knew it would happen at some point, I go to one of the biggest schools in Scotland. The school is still using online work, I know it is in case we go back into lockdown, and if I struggle my mum can help me, but it’s harder for me to do it this way. I enjoy face to face work, even if I don’t enjoy the subject it is better for me. I had managed to not hand in work, but I thought I had, but I hadn’t clicked the button and after the time the teacher had made it so I couldn’t hand it in after the due date. The teacher tried to explain how to put it in files, but I didn’t understand, so I couldn’t do it.
(Ultra-Bee, age 13)

When we went back I was confused because of the one way system and having to sanitise our hands in every class.  We had to clean our desks in every class too.  Other than that I felt alright. The best thing has been seeing my friends I haven’t seen since March and getting back to a bit of normality, and getting to actually see teachers and getting proper lessons.  I found the online work hard, I couldn’t do it, we got some new work online over lockdown, that we hadn’t done before in school, so it was all new and it was harder to understand instructions that were just written down, and it was hard to get connected sometimes. The only thing I don’t like about being back is seeing a boy who has not been nice to me since S1.
(B. Baggins age 12)

I felt good being back at school, and then when we got handed work I was like “no way, I can’t do this”. We have to put on hand sanitiser when we go through the doors. The best thing has been playing with my friends because that’s the one thing I was looking forward to. I feel happy and that I belong somewhere. I did make friends, someone new in my class who moved here from England – he loves Minecraft so we have something in common. But what isn’t going so well is the rush in the morning and the work! I struggled to get to bed, so when I finally get to bed around 11 or 12, Mum or Dad go to wake us up and guess what?! We can’t wake up! We can’t go to bed and we can’t wake up. We’re almost late for school. The work is also not going great because my dyslexia is making me struggle in maths, reading and writing. I’ve actually got some stuff to help me – a comic for children of all ages with dyslexia and it has maths, French, physics, chemistry, history…quite a few things.
(Catnip, age 10)

I really enjoy being back. We hugged, I don’t think you’re supposed to. The best thing about being back is meeting friends and I enjoy going to my subjects because I picked them now that I’m in S3. I think my understanding is better, I’m not asking for help. The only difficult thing is that the teacher can’t walk round and all the desks face forward, no facing back. People ignore that a bit.
(Creative Songstress, age 14)

Feeling safe and school rules and procedures

Our schools have implemented new procedures that are intended to both ensure the safety of children and adults, but also to convey a message of safety and concern. Our journalists report now on personal feelings of safety and views on what has been put in place and how that works.

Yeah I feel safe. The rules are there to keep everyone safe. Everything’s been good. The headteacher is really really good – if you do something wrong or if you’re annoyed and you get sent to him, he’s not the kind of teacher who shouts at you. He’ll talk to you to try to understand what’s going on for you. He started being the headteacher since we started school in August – everyone says he’s scary but he’s not that scary.
(Ringtone, age 11)

There is hand gel in every class. There’ still a teacher in your face though, they are too close when they’re teaching. I take my own gel too.
(Skateboard Skater, age 13)

Now that we’ve been back for a while, I feel pretty good about being there because of all the things they have done to keep us healthy and the routines and things. I feel like they want us to be safe. I don’t like that we’re doing staggered start times and breaks because I can’t see my friends in other years but I get why they’ve decided to do it.
(Beluga8, age 8)

It was hard getting used to the routine, like hand washing, because we do it at home but it’s different at school, but I liked being back again. The best thing is seeing my friends and playing with them at breaktime and in the park after school. I missed them. Most things are going well.
(Beluga8, age 8)

Yeah I do feel safe. Because we’re allowed to be near each other, so it doesn’t feel like it’s a global pandemic. Having our own stuff, like pencils, whiteboards, rubbers helps. It’s not like we’re having to share everything. I don’t like the hand washing, like I said. Or having to do PE outside, especially if it’s a cold day. It’s hard to do exercising especially when you’re cold.
(Zoomer, age 10)

Yes, I feel safe, I think everything is being managed really well. We have to wash our hands every time we come into the building but that’s ok because it’s keeping us all safe. The dinner ladies come round and clean the tables whilst we’re all still eating. They put this red plastic thing down once children have stopped eating at a table and once they’ve cleaned it they turn it over and it’s green and good for us to eat there. There’s nothing I don’t like about how things are, not really because they have these cool things. See because we’re not allowed to share stationary? We have our own folder in our tray – it has four highlighters, a ruler, rubber, scissors, pencils and pens. It feels like a cool substitute until we can bring in our own. But then, it’s also less than cool because everybody has the same things.
(Luna Love Art, age 10)

Yes, I feel safe being back because the teachers tell us which way to go and we are wearing masks now.  Not everyone is being good though.  Our school gives out masks if you forget yours, but I’ve seen masks just dumped after school on the pavement, they are reusable masks that we get from school too. Everything is fine about how it’s all being managed.  We are sitting right next to each other though in class.  I sit next to the same person in some classes, if we are in register order, but others I am not, I do sit in the same seat for every class though and teachers have a note of who sits where all the time.
(B. Baggins age 12)

I definitely feel safe.  People are still going out and being careless. People still need to respect the rules.  Use hand sanitiser and keep distance from teachers. Everything they are doing is quite reasonable.
(Ultra-Bee, age 13)

I don’t feel too safe really because you have more chances of catching Coronavirus at school and I don’t want to catch it or anyone in my family. I don’t like that my Dad has to go to work either. There could be more social distancing with children. I think it should be half at home and half at school for now. Then when things are safer bring everyone back for all the time. It’s still too dangerous. I think Boris Johnson thinks children can do anything – I don’t think he cares about children or anyone, really. He wants to help the rich, not the poor.
(Catnip, age 10)

Yeah, I feel safe, especially because the nearest cases are like three miles away and there were only ever two cases there. All the kids seem to be washing their hands and we do hand sanitiser when we come in from break. We are allowed to be near other children but we are supposed to keep our distance when we can, and we’re not supposed to share things. That seems a little bit strange, like when I’ve lost a rubber or pencil I can’t ask somebody for a lend of theirs.
(Mr. Cheese, age 11)

One of the rules is that the teacher sprays the tables and chairs and you have to wipe it down every period, or you get wipes. They have hand gel everywhere so I feel safe. I’m not liking the mask-wearing. It’s uncomfortable, especially when you are up and down stairs. You have to take your own but if you forget the office will give you one.
(Creative Songstress, age 14)

Settling in and talking about lockdown experiences

There is a realisation across the education system that we are in a period of recovery and that children need opportunities to reflect on experiences and readjust to being back in school. To support this Children’s Parliament has published a free online resource for schools Back to School: a rights-based approach to recovery https://backtoschool.scot/

We asked our journalists to report on what has been done to help children settle back into school, including whether they talk about their experiences of lockdown.

Well, some people have been stressing out and my teacher has given us this helpful thing called ’30 – 3 – 30’. If you’re annoyed or stressed in class, you’re to do 30 seconds of anything that will help calm you down. Then, if you’re still feeling stressed you do three minutes and after that, thirty minutes. It’s a really good thing. Lots of people in my class have been stressed because of the way that Coronavirus is going. I think most of the people feel happy to be back at school but some would rather be staying at home to play the Xbox. We haven’t really talked about lockdown, not really. I don’t think it’d be as helpful for me but for other people in my class it would be really helpful because you can just tell that some people are stressed from coming back from lockdown. Others are much calmer.
(Ringtone, age 11)

At the start, we did a bunch of questions about our new teacher and then she asked us questions so we could get to know each other. We’ve been doing a lot of health and wellbeing activities, which is good and fun. At the start of the term, we did a worksheet and a story about what we did during lockdown and we shared them with the rest of the class. I think it was interesting to hear what everyone else did and how they kept themselves safe.
(Beluga8, age 8)

At PE, half of it is doing stretches to get our bodies used to moving again. We’ve been doing things like making a recipe book and jokes, and it has to be a recipe with a little story behind it, based on what we’ve done during lockdown. Mine is a rhubarb crumble. I have made a lot of rhubarb crumbles, because there’s been so much rhubarb here. When we came back, they were asking how everyone has been. Also, we did a survey at school about our experiences and to check if we wanted to pass anything on to the teachers, or to see if wanted to use the Chromebooks more, what subjects we wanted to learn about, and if we wanted to speak to anyone on our own about anything.
(Mr. Cheese, age 11)

They do give us an extra break but it’s not very long. They also give us all hand sanitiser. We had a chance to say one thing about how it was for us. I talked about my gran but I had to not say too much though because it would be upsetting. It’s really hard to lose people close to your heart. 
(Catnip, age 10)

We had a usual start of the year thing where we always do the introduction stuff and what we’re worried about in the next term. We do talk about lockdown sometimes – usually, when we’re having a conversation about something else, it finds its way in there. Basically, everything we talk about, there’s something about lockdown – what happened to us or what it was like.
(Luna Love Art, age 10)

We haven’t talked about our experiences of lockdown.  Nothing. No teachers have asked about anything. We don’t have any assemblies because of numbers in one space.  I feel awkward about that, because I feel that teachers should have been asking us how we are and stuff, I’ve asked teachers if they have read the Corona Times Journal but they said they never heard of it.
(B. Baggins age 12)

My English teacher is really nice, he will stop class and have a talk with us all to make sure we understand everything.  He takes time to make sure we get stuff. He took the whole period after we got back to make sure we all understood what was happening, and making sure we are all ok, asking if we are ok. He did it before even discussing the English lessons, he is helping us understand how this year is going to work now. He always takes time out of his lessons to make sure we are ok. Some teachers just got on with lessons. A small percentage took time to ask us how we felt, not like my English teacher, just a few minutes not a whole class.
(Ultra-Bee, age 13)

We didn’t really talk about anything, about what it’s been like, just got back to school and that’s it. Even during lockdown they just sent stuff and we didn’t really talk about lockdown.
(Skateboard Skater, age 13)

To help us we are allowed to sit beside friends, and talk to people. In the first week we didn’t do any work, we just did fun activities to help us settle in. The only work we would do was like colouring in stuff. We haven’t really talked about lockdown. I wanted to pretend it didn’t happen, because it was a bit scary. Especially for the P1s and P2s, it might have scared them to have to talk about it. I didn’t really want to think about it anymore.
(Zoomer, age 10)

It’s not that different now. They just teach the same with different rules. But some teachers have odd breaks which means you get stand-ins for 10 minutes. I suppose to help us we do a resilient alphabet. Today was ‘S’ for smile and we talk about the importance of it. But it feels a bit too childlike. We haven’t talked about lockdown at all.
(Creative Songstress, age 14)

Looking ahead

Over many months our journalists have reflected on current experiences. This Journal ends with thoughts on how children feel now and they share views on what we – individually or collectively – need to do to keep ourselves and others safe and well.

I’m feeling pretty good because I feel the Government has done a good job to contain it. I’ve not really been following the news much as before school, I usually eat my breakfast and then I go to school and I’m usually out playing when the news is on. Everyone was so kind in lockdown. But, because the regulations have been not as much, everyone has not been as kind as they were during lockdown. It’s not that people are generally being unkind, it’s just that everyone was so kind to each other. I feel like the community came together: where we live, everyone was painting stones and putting it like a caterpillar near the school which was really cool.
(Ringtone, age 11)

When I had the chance to go for flu jab, I didn’t want to because I didn’t know if I’m allergic to it. I hate the Coronavirus. If I could go back in time, I’d poison the bat and I’d bury it. Then no one would eat the bat and there would be no coronavirus. At my primary school (I don’t know if it’s in other schools) we don’t have to wear face masks but in high school they have to. I think we should be wearing them. It can help you from not catching a cold, stop you catching the flu or Coronavirus and stop you from sneezing. 
(Catnip, age 10)

Lockdown was a good experience in lots of ways but it was also quite horrible sometimes, not having any choice. I don’t really know how I’m feeling about it now. I’m not really feeling scared anymore because things are feeling quite normal at school. It’s weird with all the hand washing and my teacher not being able to come over to us, but it’s okay. I’ve stopped worrying about me or other people getting Coronavirus. We all need to keep social distancing, even inside your house. You can’t just go out and have a party with your big groups of friends until it’s calmed down a bit. People need to remember that it’s almost over but it’s not over yet.
(Zoomer, age 10)

I’m fine with it all. I’m not really worried about anything but when I first went to school I had a bit of a cough and high fever. I got a test, and it was negative. The thing I’ve been worried about most is spreading it. My brother has quite bad asthma and had to go to hospital once. I do too, but not as bad. There are some people who are going out to pubs with hundreds of people and not social distancing. When we were on holidays, at a fairground with bumper cars and a ferris wheel, we saw crowds of people and nobody was wearing masks. People should be wearing masks and there should only be a certain number of people allowed in to things.
(Mr. Cheese, age 11)

I feel good because I want people to live. I think everything is going quite well, but I don’t want to go back into lockdown, if we do I am really worried about school work!  Then there is the 2 household rule, I get supervised contact, so that is 3 houses, so my sisters can’t come!  I can just see my sister, because that is not supervised, but it’s not happened yet, because we didn’t know.  We hadn’t been given all the information, we only found out today.  I don’t want to go back to lockdown because then contact with my family will just be on the phone, and I don’t like that because I can’t see them.
(B. Baggins age 12)

I feel better about Coronavirus because we’re back at school. The worst of it looks like it’s over. At school we’re doing everything we possibly can to keep everyone safe. When it comes to things we should all be doing I think it’s just more and more handwashing. We have all these posters about handwashing – even more than usual.
(Luna Love Art, age 10)

I don’t mind it all now. I’m not so bothered about Coronavirus now because it has calmed down a bit. We need to wear masks, even though I don’t like it. And hand-washing. There’s social distancing, well at school we don’t do that. It’s impossible in a school but we’re told to do it outside school. It’s understandable, school rules make sense and then there is the Government rules outside school. I just get on with it.
(Creative Songstress, age 14)

Some teachers aren’t really thinking about us being children, we are going to be touching each other, whether knocking shoulders or playing around. Although some are being understanding, some are being really strict about it too, so no contact at all – purposeful contact. Thinking about what we should all be doing maybe people who work is shops and stuff, if they wore gloves it might help. I think some people are taking advantage of stuff and not wearing masks, saying they have asthma, when they don’t.
(Ultra-Bee, age 13)

I feel like I’ve gotten used to it and it’s easier to do the things that keep us safe because we’re further into Coronavirus, so now we do those things without even really noticing. Everyone needs to keep doing all the things were supposed to and not go into other people’s households yet. I think it’s important to do what the government have said because then it’ll keep us from getting Coronavirus.
(Beluga8, age 8)

I feel it’s easier now, we just need to keep doing the hand washing and face masks. Some pals are better at this than others. 
(Skateboard Skater, age 13)

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Corona Times Journal: Edition 6