Balloons and sunflowers, with the message "little bravehearts and courageous teachers", welcomed the pupils as they returned from the June school holidays.
It was a sign that life had begun, in tiny steps, to return to normal at Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS), less than a month after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck Sabah, The Straits Times Online reported.
A group of 29 pupils and eight teachers from TKPS were on a school expedition to Mount Kinabalu when the quake hit on June 5. Seven pupils and two teachers lost their lives that day. Several teachers and pupils, perhaps with their minds on those who will not be back, looked solemn.
"We are all very saddened by the loss. And as a nation, Singapore mourned together with Tanjong Katong (Primary School)," said TKPS principal Caroline Wu yesterday. 'BE THERE FOR ONE ANOTHER'
"However, we will be there for one another, and I know we can do it as a school."
She was addressing about 700 pupils from Primary 3 to 5 at the morning assembly.
Mrs Wu also asked for pupils to be respectful to those affected, including pupils whose siblings died in the quake, and to be compassionate to their friends and teachers.
"We are healing as a community, and we will bounce back and emerge stronger," she added.
After the assembly, pupils returned to their classes where their teachers shared ways of coping with the disaster and the children talked about their feelings.
The Education Ministry has deployed new staff to the school, including a third vice-principal and two additional counsellors to provide support to affected pupils and staff.
A fund has also been set up for the families of victims who lost their lives, as well as those whose livelihoods were affected, such as the guides.
This was in response to requests from the public, the Ministry of Education and Temasek Foundation said in a joint statement last week.
This article was first published on June 30, 2015.
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