Coronavirus: Final day of school celebrated with proms and discos

Image source, Sara Mackie
Image caption,
Ewan Mackie (front, right) persuaded his friends to dress up in suits for their last day

Pupils across Britain are wondering when they'll meet again. But that hasn't stopped them from signing off in style, despite emotions running high.

It is not the end of term everyone was anticipating.

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson's closure announcement on Wednesday, some pupils have been left in limbo, with no certain date as to when they may meet again.

Thanks to rapidly imposed coronavirus measures, events that may have been planned for months suddenly had to be postponed, abandoned or crammed into the last fleeting hours of term.

But despite these obstacles, pupils tried their best to make the day as special as possible.

Some held impromptu discos, while others - who will no longer get to attend their end-of-year proms - dressed to impress.

'Great atmosphere despite the down times'

Image source, Sara Mackie
Image caption,
The students said it felt "great" to wear their smart suits to school

The final-year students at Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, saw out their last lessons in prom gear after realising they might not be able to hold the event as originally planned.

"It just gave everybody a bit of a boost," said Sara Mackie.

Her son Ewan, 17, dressed for the occasion.

"All of the boys wore their suits, although some of the girls didn't dress up as they went into panic mode.

"It was very emotional seeing him in a suit but I held back the tears. It was real mixed emotions - happiness, anger and pride."

Ewan said it felt "great" to wear a suit to school.

"It was a great atmosphere from everyone," he said. "People were really positive despite the down times."

"It's an unusual situation but I'm really pleased our students had the opportunity to mark this day in school," said head teacher Malcolm Kelly.

"They have planned a series of events with the support of their teachers which will make this day as special as we can for them."

'We're coming in ball gowns'

Image source, Farmor's School
Image caption,
Farmor's School sixth formers turned out in prom gear

Putting on the Ritz were the sixth-formers of Farmor's School, in Gloucestershire, who also decided to wear prom gear for their final day.

"As soon as they knew this would be their last day, they were telling me, 'We're coming in tomorrow in ball gowns, Miss,'" said Sarah Crawford, deputy head of sixth form.

"It's been lovely seeing them walking around school in their dresses and suits.

"The last day of term is always bittersweet, when you know the students are leaving, and this one is particularly strange, but today you can really see them soaking up those last moments."

'Strange morning'

Media caption,
Pupils at Oaklands ended a "difficult week" with a playground disco

In Edinburgh, pupils at Oaklands, a school for children with special needs, decided to mark their last day with an impromptu disco.

"It was a way of cheering the children up on an otherwise strange morning," said head teacher Morna Phillips.

"It's been a really difficult week for parents, staff and the children. I suppose we are uncertain as to what is next in the short-term."

Media caption,
Pupils at Ludgrove School sang out the term with a hymn

Music was also on the cards as pupils at Ludgrove School, a boarding school in Wokingham, Berkshire, for boys aged eight to 13, who sang the words to their traditional school hymn God Be With You Til' We Meet Again.

The hymn is sung in the chapel at the end of every term but, with this term ending five days earlier than planned, the school said it held a special resonance.

The school plans to begin its summer term, at the end of April, with classes taught virtually.

'The children have been amazing'

Image source, Busill Jones Primary
Image caption,
Children at Busill Jones Primary wrote letters to people who are self-isolating

Primary schools have also been trying to spread the cheer.

In the West Midlands, pupils at Busill Jones Primary in Bloxwich came in for their final day dressed in their brightest clothes and wrote letters and collected food for elderly and vulnerable people in the area who are self-isolating.

Image source, Busill Jones Primary
Image caption,
The children have also been collecting food and supplies for the school to distribute

Head teacher Steph Field said: "We've been kind of living day by day at the minute, but the children have been amazing.

"I asked them to come in bright, cheery, positive colours today just so we can keep that positivity going across our school during this unprecedented time.

"We don't know what's going to happen as of today, we don't know when we'll see our children - it could be in the summer, it could be in September, who knows?

"So we're hoping that the bright colours and the cheery dispositions around the school are just going to add that bit of cheer to our community."

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