IT is hoped that children from schools damaged by flooding will be able to return after the half-term holidays.

Both Bellingham Primary and Middle were affected by flash flooding in early May.

The damage saw Bellingham Primary relocate to Kielder Primary School and castle.

Headteacher Wendy Goddard explained: "This meant that the children and staff could remain close together and have each other for support during these tricky times, getting together for lunch with the Kielder children and sharing afternoon enrichment sessions together, making the most of their new locations.

"They've done all kinds of outdoor learning during the afternoons building on existing skills. Mornings have remained focused on Literacy and maths. The Year 2 children have done their KS1 SATs in a castle.

"The support from the local community has been overwhelming right from the start with families, past, present and future, coming to the assistance of the school site with carpet cleaners, mops and buckets. Their initial quick cleaning has been noted by the risk assessors as being a great help in the overall clean-up.

"I would like to publicly express my thanks to everyone, staff, parents and children alike for their continued support and resilience during the past weeks.

"Fingers crossed we'll be back in our own school after the half-term holidays."

Bellingham Middle School used community buildings to continue in-person teaching but some pupils were also taught remotely. Year 6 children sat their SATs in the town hall.

Daniel Ramshaw, interim head at Bellingham Middle School, said: "We are pleased to say that we are moving back into the school after half-term.

"We have worked closely with Northumberland County Council (NCC) and contractors to put together a cleaning and decontamination regime to allow pupils and staff to return to school for June 5."

Northumberland National Park Authority's (NNPA) popular Hareshaw Linn waterfall route remains closed.

Work to fix smaller issues on the site has already been completed ahead of larger works being carried out in due course.

Roads in and out of Bellingham were impassable, television satellite signals were lost and some saw brief power outages.