PUPILS at Ramsbury Primary School have been going back to school under canvas, after local Ian Smith lent - and put up - a large marquee on the school field.

The gift meant other year groups could be invited back to lessons, and they have shared their thoughts on going back to school after such an unusual year.

Here's a selection of their views on what they liked best:

l Making a bug town and seeing my friends (Emma, Y2).

Having fun with my friends (Barnaby, Y2).

Being outside and making a bug town. I also enjoyed doing the 'search for the time' treasure hunt (Evie-Grace, Y2).

Running around every single hour, I like running (Max, Y2).

Making pictures of animals using leaves and twigs to make their bodies and heads (Louis, Y2).

Pretending to investigate and find fossils on the field (Hamish, Y2).

I have loved making the bug hotels and doing gymnastics (Lola, Y3).

I have really enjoyed playing Splat and seeing my friends. We also did some weaving which I really liked (Elsa, Y3).

I loved making a bug hotel. A worm and two ladybirds came to visit! I have also enjoyed playing Splat and seeing my friends (Archie, Y3)

I have loved seeing my friends and doing all the activities. We are making dream jars for Mrs Fry (Class 3’s teacher for next year), so that she knows what our dreams are for Class 4 (Zara, Y3).

I've really liked being outside all day. I like getting wet! I've really enjoyed doing all the art work too (Annabel, Y3).

It has been so lovely seeing all their smiles and happy faces again (Miss Miles, HLTA and PE lead).

Since June 1 the village primary has been welcoming around 100 youngsters a day, nearly all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 as well as 46 keyworker children who have been in throughout the lockdown. Every classroom and space has been pressed in use to ensure children remain in their ‘bubbles’.

The loan of the large marquee has allowed them to welcome up to 134 children into lessons.

Head teacher Joanna Price said: "It has been a lot of work for all of the staff and school community – like all schools, we have had to be hugely adaptable and reactive. I am tremendously proud of all of my staff, who are all in school now, staying within their bubbles and taking on a variety of new roles, including face-to-face and online teaching.

"We are extremely grateful to Ian Smith who has lent us the marquee, meaning we could invite every class in for two days, giving them a vital opportunity to come into school, reconnect with their peers and spend some time with their teachers for next year.

"The first week was the turn of Year 2 and Year 3, coming in for two days per class – and the two bubbles of children have been enjoying fun and games in the marquee and on the school field. 134 children were in school on any one day this week, which is wonderful for the children – particularly those in early years who have missed out on a large proportion of a year that should be underpinned by socialising with their classmates in school.

"And of course those children still at home are not being left out – they continue to be set work and interact with their class and teachers live and virtually, via Google Classroom – which has been a phenomenal success from the staff, children’s and parents’ perspectives.

"But nothing quite makes up for learning together with your friends in school and doing activities together, so Ramsbury are delighted they can offer that opportunity to everyone before the end of this exceptionally strange school year."