PUPILS at schools across Ilkley have returned to classes this week for the first time since lockdown.

On Monday Burley and Woodhead C E Primary welcomed back all classes. All pupils are now offered the chance to go into school two days a week, with classes divided into two to make social distancing possible.

Head teacher Joanne Siddall said: “It is wonderful to welcome back all our year groups this week. This is the most people we’ve all seen together in one place for a long time.”

Independent prep-school Westville House on Carters Lane, Ilkley, also took advantage of the updated Government guidelines and small class sizes to restart lessons for all its pupils, with each class remaining in their own social distancing bubble.

In addition, Westville House has also launched a special Summer Academy which is open to all primary school children across the region. It will run throughout the summer holidays with specialist teachers in maths, English, and science.

Nikki Hammond, Head of Westville House School, said: “Although the children have been doing great in their virtual learning we were keen to bring the whole school back for face-to-face lessons before the end of term, in particular Year 5, as it is such a key academic year as we prepare them for their secondary school exams.

“While we have maintained the normal daily school timetable for all our pupils during lockdown, we are conscious many school children haven’t been given the same level of support. This is why we are launching our Summer Academy, giving children from other schools the chance to have structured lessons in the key subjects of Maths, English and Science and much needed interaction with both teachers and pupils. The uptake has been fantastic, and we have been overwhelmed by the number of parents across the area who have proactively contacted us asking for support.”

Full details on the Summer Academy will be announced soon. In the meantime people can register their interest by emailing marketing@westvillehouseschool.co.uk.

Moorfield School in Ilkley is another school to welcome back all children this week.

Head teacher Tina Herbert said: “This is not a situation I ever thought we would find ourselves in but my experience so far shows that this uncertain and difficult challenge has truly brought out the best in everyone at Moorfield and for that, I am incredibly humbled and grateful. I am delighted that we have been able to welcome all other year groups back to school this week and very hopeful that we will be back to normal in September.”

Head Boy at Moorfield during this summer term is Alex Waterhouse who, although having missed out on some of the usual experiences that come with the role, is making the most of the weeks that are left of this term. “It is a joy to return to Moorfield once again before our transition to secondary school,” he said. “Even though school has changed, the friendships remain the same. I am a bit disappointed not to be able to do the normal Head Boy things this term, but I am really looking forward to speaking at our end of year assembly in a couple of weeks.”