Posted: 29.06.20 at 17:00 by Zola Hargreaves
Schools around Penarth have reopened to pupils for the first time since they closed in March when the coronavirus pandemic lockdown came into place.
They are not operating at full capacity but this period is allowing pupils and staff to start adjusting to their new version of normal.
This time will be used to allow everyone to "Check-In, Catch Up and Prepare" for a different start to school after the summer holidays.
Classrooms have reduced numbers so that desks can be spaced with 2-metre gaps in between them and pupils will have to socially distance throughout the day.
Sanitisation stations are also part of the system in every school with hand gel and tissues available for pupils whenever they enter and exit a room. Personal hygiene is one of the most important factors of the return to schools.
New markings have been placed onto the ground and stickers indicate directions for pupils to travel in.
St Cyres has painted 2-metre distancing at both entrances of the schools as well as around the entire interior.
The transition between lessons will largely take place outside and toilet blocks will be designated to certain groups and classrooms during the day.
Lots of the local schools have used their social media to show pupils the new ways in which the school will operate.
Teachers and pupils are excited to get back to schools and the Welsh government have also made a statement today in line with their return.
The rapid deployment of testing will be made available to support outbreaks by the NHS Wales Test, Trace and Protect Programme and Local Health Boards will facilitate antigen testing for everybody in the school/setting ‘bubbles’ (small, consistent group of no more than eight) that are affected by the outbreak and everyone in the school/setting if it has been established that the setting has not followed Welsh Government guidelines for schools and/or Infection Prevention and Control measures.
The Welsh Government is also undertaking a programme of Antibody testing being rolled out to at least 10% of schools staff who have worked in hub schools during the pandemic.
They said: ''We expect over 9000 to be tested. This will assist in understanding the seroprevalence of the virus in this cohort.
"We will be repeating that antibody testing following the end of term with an additional sample group consisting of the broader school community."
Stephen Doughty the MP for Cardiff South and Penarth said: ''Thank you to all our amazing teachers and school Staff helping prepare for the change and return to school this week."
To find out more about that approach please find the official Welsh Government statement here.