Cardiff saw 6,600 children and young people returning to the classroom today, as the city’s schools reopened to provide the ‘check in, catch up, prepare’ approach announced by Welsh Government on the 3rdJune.
In order to maintain social distancing, up to one third of pupils and students are in school at any one time. This means that there are staggered starts for the children and young people, with timetabled check in and catch up sessions taking place between now and the end of term, on 20th July.
In the run up to today’s opening, schools have been issuing information, and the Council has been providing guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions have been published on the Council’s website, providing answers on a range of topics, including health and safety, the curriculum and childcare.
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: “I want to thank everyone involved in the planning and careful management that has been required to reopen our schools, so that the children and young people can check in, catch up and prepare for September.
“I know that a lot of children will have been excited at the thought of seeing their teachers and friends today, but equally, there will have been parents, and staff, who were feeling anxious about children returning to school, which is why so much work has gone in to the health and safety of our schools during the past weeks.”
Since the lockdown began on 23rd March, education in Cardiff has continued through online distance learning, enabled by teachers with support from the Council and the Central South Consortium.
The Council has provided over 6,000 Chromebooks to pupils across the city who were not equipped with devices at home, and 4G internet connectivity to 1,700 of these via mobile devices.
Cllr Merry added: “The strict social distancing measures we have put in place has seen schools operating at reduced capacity, with significantly fewer pupils in school at any one time.
“This means that during the week, most pupils will continue to learn from home, and I also want to thank the staff involved in ensuring that those families in need, now have the necessary devices and connectivity in order to access their schools’ online teaching.”
During the lockdown, 25 schools have been operating as Keyworker Childcare Hubs, providing childcare to an average of 450 children per day. These hubs have also provided essential support for vulnerable learners, referred for support by our new Vulnerable Learners Panel. Now that schools have re-opened, childcare has transferred to the pupils’ home school for the remainder of the summer term.