French schoolchildren went back to school on Monday following the usual two-week autumn break.

However, there were important differences between this year and last. Most visibly, children as young as six are now required to wear masks in the classroom, a move opposed by many parents.

More importantly, and controversially, pupils were asked to honour a minute of silence in memory of Samuel Paty, the history teacher who was killed outside his school in the Paris suburbs last month after having shown his class caricatures of the prophet Muhammed as published by the Charlie Hebdo magazine.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Jean Castex said: “Samuel Paty taught each child of the Republic to become a free citizen. For him, for our country, we will continue. It is our honour and our duty.”

PHOTO: Murdered schoolteacher Samuel Paty