Pupils across the north were overjoyed as they met up with pals at school today after weeks of home learning.
At Smithton Primary in Inverness, Pauline Munro, mum of seven-year-old Anna, said: “The school staff have done a great job at providing online learning for the kids but this lockdown has been really tough.
“To see them all so delighted to be back amongst their friends and the lovely way they were welcomed by staff was a real lift.
“I know everything is being done to make school as safe as possible and fingers crossed the older pupils will be able to go back soon.”
Smithton Primary headteacher Aileen Mackay said: “How wonderful to see some of our youngest pupils return to the classroom for the first time since the Christmas break. Lots of happy, smiling faces.”
Highland Council’s education chairman John Finlayson said: “I am delighted to see the return of some of our pupils to education settings across Highland.
“However, I want to take this opportunity to urge the members of our school’s communities to remain aware and continue to follow national guidance to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.
“While we understand the feeling of normality which accompanies the return of pupils to school, it is important to remember that the virus is still present in Highland and in order to protect our school community, and keep schools open, we must work to make sure that there is reduced opportunity for the virus to spread outside of schools too.”
He added: “I want to thank each child, young person, parent, carer, staff member and their families for their ongoing compliance with these measures and for their patience and understanding while we have worked to deliver a quality education experience in these challenging times.
“We will continue to work towards the return of our other young people and information will be provided when further guidance is made available from the Scottish Government.”