When classes resumed at Caledonian Primary School this week there was more than just excitement at seeing friends and teachers again.
The school's 220 pupils walked back in to a transformed school with groundworks completed, classrooms painted, their multipurpose space resurfaced and new furniture throughout.
While the groundworks was a planned major project to overhaul the school yard, principal Ben Moody decided to take advantage of not having students around to tackle the other improvements.
He and the school's maintenance man painted the classrooms themselves over winter, spending several days a week painting six classrooms. "When the second lockdown came around we decided to just get the rooms painted so we went off for a few tins of paint. It was a good job to get done with no kids on site," Mr Moody said.
"We just wanted to get things done, wanted the school looking good for when the kids got back. It was a pretty major thing but we wanted a positive start for when the kids returned with everything feeling happy and new."
While painting Mr Moody decided new furniture was also needed to replace the "very tired" equipment there so all classrooms got new tables, chairs and other furniture.
Students returned to the classroom at Caledonian Primary School on Tuesday and Mr Moody described the feeling as "like the first day of school".
"The preps, ones and twos came in and sat on the floor perfectly, the grade fives and sixes were running around like it's the best day of their lives, and the threes and fours were just ready to get in to it," he said.
But it wasn't just the children and their parents excited about the return to face to face classes.
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"School shouldn't exist without kids - that's what we are here for. Staff are very excited to have the kids back on site. It gives us a sense of purpose again. The relationship we have with the kids is what makes our job worth doing," Mr Moody said.
Mr Moody said focus for the first few days of school would be students reconnecting with each other.
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