A SUNNY South Gippsland day, plus lots of balloons, bubbles and smiles, provided a warm welcome for students in years 3 to 10 when they returned to face-to-face learning last Tuesday at Chairo Christian School’s Leongatha campus.

Girls and boys of all ages, as well as the teachers and other staff members, were beaming as they celebrated everyone being together again after a challenging, yet highly successful, period of online and remote learning.

One parent commented on the school’s Facebook page: “The bubble welcome was amazing! Thank you so much for making the day so special!”

Another family provided delicious cakes for staff members as an expression of appreciation.

Acting principal Christine Hibma said: “We are very pleased to have all of our students and staff back at school and we’re making sure there’s lots of hands-on learning happening after so much screen time in recent weeks.”

Mrs Hibma said the school had surveyed families to help find out how students were feeling before they returned.

“Most were excited,” said Mrs Hibma, “but there were some questions about social distancing and hygiene. Through lots of communication, including videos, we’ve been able to assure everyone about the various measures that we’ve put in place.”

“School is still school. It’s a wonderful place for engaging learning, great experiences, strong friendships and supportive staff members,” said Mrs Hibma.

Effective parent partnership is a core value at Chairo and they are now looking to build further on the strong cooperation that has been cultivated during the period of online and remote learning.

The school is also focusing on providing a safe environment and seeking to understand where students are at emotionally, academically and socially to provide opportunities for reconnection, academic success, confidence building and emotional support.