Wokingham borough schools are looking forward to welcoming back pupils for the start of the autumn term.
Headteachers across the area have been working alongside Wokingham Borough Council and their own staff to safely reopen next month, with thousands of students returning to learning in classrooms for the first time since Government shut school buildings to aid the fight against COVID-19 in March.
Classroom bubbles and staggered start times have been introduced, in line with Public Health England guidance, to ensure it’s as safe as possible and contact is minimised at the school gates for the wider community.
All children should be returning and any parents with concerns should speak to their child’s school about this.
Support in place
The council’s educational psychology service has been supporting schools on how to reintroduce young people to school life, with a curriculum tailored to include this as well as catch up on key curriculum areas. Government has provided some catch-up funding (£80 per pupil/£240 per pupil for those special educational needs and/or disabilities pupil, or those in our pupil referral unit) to help make the transition back into school life is as smooth as possible.
“We’ve worked hard in recent months alongside our schools to ensure they have the support they need to reopen safely,” said Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for children’s services. “I commend all the staff involved at schools across the borough for the mammoth effort they’ve made to ensure they’re ready to open their doors in September.
“Getting children back into school is absolutely vital to getting them the education they need and deserve. We know how important it is to take every step we can to keep the borough’s young people safe, while being back at school, and these measures have been put in place at every school in our borough.”
Walk or cycle to school if you can
All parents are encouraged to enable children to walk or cycle to school in September if they can.
This is great for young people’s health and minimises any risk of infection as transmission outside is far less likely. Schools will be supported by MyJourney Wokingham, our sustainable transport team, to help them do this.
Additional bus services to get children to and from school, when this is the only option, will be put in place to enable social distancing.
The council has worked alongside our transport providers to put these in place, as well as appropriate cleaning measures.
Changes for concessionary bus passes
Concessionary bus passes, which since March had allowed travel at any time, will return to applying after 9am only, from September 1, to allow more space on these bus services for children travelling to school.
If parents are unsure with arrangements with their child’s school, year group or class get in touch with the school directly, who will be able to provide the information.
Further information will be released by the council and schools to parents in the coming weeks, prior to schools reopening, including on walking and cycling to school and home to school transport.