AS part of the roadmap to bring the country out of lockdown, schools will be the first aspects of society to return to some kind of normal on March 8.

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his announcement on Monday, schools around Northwich reacted positively to the news and welcomed the notice period given to them this time by government.

Catriona Stewart, Headteacher of Kingsmead School, said she was very much looking forward to welcoming children back.

She said: "The Kingsmead school community are very much looking forward to being back together again from March 8 and thank the government for giving us enough notice this time, it makes all the difference.

"We hope this will be the last time children and staff will be learning and teaching from home and will continue to play our part in keeping risks as low as we can to protect ourselves, our community and the NHS.

"In school, we are busy planning to ensure to be safe enough for everyone to return happily.

"Today the latest summary risk assessment has been shared with families so everyone in our community can play their part in ensuring a sustained and safe return for everyone.

"We are incredibly proud of how our children, their teachers and support staff, parents, carers and grandparents have all done their very best with home learning, working together in a real partnership like never before.

"However, we know that happy childhoods and quality education are better with us together in school physically.

"One thing I hope we will all remember is how virtual experience is a poor substitute for real world experience and face to face relationships.

"We will be delighted to resume a normal as possible service on March 8 and all of us learning and working here in school are looking forward welcoming our classmates and colleagues back under one roof."

Meanwhile, Headteacher at Delamere CofE Academy Julie Clayton said: "The staff and team at Delamere are really looking forward to the return of our home learners.

"Our children - with the support of their families - have continued to work hard and engage well with our online provision, however, it is not a replacement for the interaction and support we can provide within our school environment."

Simon Kidwell, Head of Hartford Manor said: "The feedback I have received about a return to face-to-face education for all pupils on March 8 has been overwhelmingly positive.

"The parents and staff at Hartford Manor have done an outstanding job supporting children over the past 12 months.

"Our priority for the remainder of the academic year will be to support the children's social, physical and academic development, with hopefully minimal disruption and no further lockdowns.

"In order to help make school reopening a success we will continue working with our fantastic community to reduce risks and keep transmission rates low."

Head of School at Weaverham Primary Academy Jo Price said: "We're absolutely delighted at the prospect of finally getting all our children back in the classroom.

"We've worked extremely hard during lockdown to make sure our pupils' education has remained at the highest possible standard but there is no substitute for children being taught in school and socialising with their friends."

Fiona Whittaker, Executive Headteacher at Oak View Academy said: "We are really looking forward to welcoming the children back into school safely, and will be making our curriculum as exciting and engaging as we possibly can."

The position at our senior schools is slightly different, with students being required to wear face coverings at all times, including in the classroom, as well as being required to take two Covid tests each week.

Lee Barber, the Head of Rudheath Academy, is another who is looking forward to seeing children return to the school's corridors.

He said: "Whilst the quality of remote learning has been good, we know that our young people flourish best with their peers and teachers in school.

"Throughout the period of national lockdown, we have established a testing facility within school which will help with the safe return of pupils from March 8.

"So far this has worked well and I am confident that the testing system in place will give confidence to parents and carers that the return to school will be safe and well-coordinated.

"We await further information regarding the grading of GCSE qualifications for those in Year 11, but we continue to encourage all pupils to remain focused over the coming months.

"All pupils have access to a digital device thanks to generous donations from across the local community and supplies from the Department for Education (DfE).

"These will help many of our children in engaging with education outside of the classroom to help maximise their potential."