The return of Grade 4 to 8 pupils to school from Monday 20th April has revitalised our campus once more. How did we begin our first day of school during this special period in the lovely warm, floral spring?
Early in the morning on the first day, our security team and duty nurses were ready and waiting at the school gates. They kindly reminded everyone to stand in a queue while keeping a safe distance from each other and they guided our pupils in taking their temperatures, showing their ID cards, swiping their citizenship cards and displaying their health codes in an orderly manner before entering the campus.
Mr. Paul Rogers, Founding Executive Master of Wellington College Hangzhou, and Helena Xin, Principal of Huili School Hangzhou, were also waiting at the gates to welcome our pupils back to school. Instead of the usual high fives, they gave those pupils who were comfortable with such a gesture, elbow bumps as a social distancing courtesy to minimise risks and secure campus safety.
When pupils entered their classrooms and saw each other’s faces after such a long time, they were excited beyond words. Laughter burst out from the classrooms as they happily talked together with each other. The first day of learning began with Ms. Xin’s ‘The First Lesson,’ in which she told moving stories to our pupils about how frontline workers helped others during the COVID-19 period. It was then followed by the national anthem sung in unison, and the pupils were overwhelmed with a sense of national pride. House Tutors and homeroom teachers later reiterated the rules of conduct and demonstrated the detailed precautions to be taken at the school during this special period, helping pupils adapt to the new normal at campus as soon as possible. At the same time, Mr. Rogers, Mr Shen and Mr. Barlow were going from class to class to greet our pupils back.
Our pupils’ school life is unfolding in an orderly fashion. Our teachers have assessed pupils’ academic progress during the eLearning period and during this school time, and pupils have quickly devoted themselves to their return to classroom learning, where they can interact with their classmates and teachers.
For lunch, Grade 4 pupils have been eating in their classrooms at their single desks, while Grade 5 to 8 pupils have been dining in the canteen after having their temperatures checked. They have also been facing the same direction and sitting in assigned seats to keep a safe distance from each other.
After returning to the school, pupils seemed to have enjoyed their outdoor lunch breaks. They have been running around the playground and freely exhibiting their youthful energy.
The first day of school was over in the blink of an eye. After their long-awaited return to campus, pupils were enthusiastic and eager to cherish their school experiences even more. Some of them were also anxious to share their feelings with us on their first day back.
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic may have disrupted our daily routines; however, it has allowed our Huili pupils to appreciate what they have and united our Huili community to embrace challenges in the future. We are looking forward to seeing our Grade 1 to 3 pupils at the school on Sunday 26th April.