01:51PM, Monday 08 March 2021
Larchfield Primary and Nursery School pupils are happy to be back. Credit: @LarchfieldPrim on Twitter
All school pupils across East Berkshire and South Bucks have returned following the first easing of the third coronavirus lockdown.
Today (Monday) marks the start of the Government's roadmap to normality, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson wanting to eradicate all social COVID restrictions by Monday, June 21.
Schools and colleges were the first to reopen their doors to all pupils early this morning following the country's latest lockdown, which began back on January 5.
For months, pupils were either learning at home or travelling to school if they fell into the category of vulnerable or were the children of key workers.
This week marked the return of all pupils onsite, and schools have been active on social media as youngsters travelled back through the gates.
Holyport College head teacher Ben McCarey tweeted to express delight at the return of a full house in Ascot Road.
"The sun is peeking through the clouds and the party tunes are playing in the quad. It is so good to be back," he said on social media.
Mr McCarey added that '100 per cent of tests' at the college were negative so far.
Under Government plans, secondary school pupils (year seven and above) are being asked to take regular tests to help slow the spread of the virus.
Secondary students will also be asked to wear face masks in lessons, a move which has been criticised due to fears over their impact on learning.
Staff in primary schools are continuing to be asked to take two at-home lateral tests, but primary aged children are not being tested.
The sun is peeking through the clouds and the party tunes are playing in the quad. It is SO good to be back! 100% of tests negative so far pic.twitter.com/220hfKG2kA— Mr McCarey | Holyport College (@HolyportHead) March 8, 2021
Larchfield Primary and Nursery School, in Bargeman Road, also used Twitter to say it 'was great to have our school family back together again'.
"Enjoy your treat pack parents. A little bit of time for you, thanks for all your support," the school added.
YAY!! Great having our school family back together again. Enjoy your treat pack parents! A little bit of time for you, thanks for all your support pic.twitter.com/syZQmiUVCO— Larchfield Primary and Nursery School (@LarchfieldPrim) March 8, 2021
In Marlow, Sir William Borlase's Grammar School, based in West Street, tweeted that it was 'so lovely' to welcome students back, together with their projects completed over lockdown.
So lovely to welcome students (and some of their lockdown projects!) back onto the site this morning. pic.twitter.com/ieaT6Ygvvr— Sir William Borlase's Grammar School (@Borlase) March 8, 2021
Secondary schools have been told they can phase the return of their pupils throughout this week.
In an effort to ensure children catch up, the Government has floated the possibility of longer school days and shorter holidays.
The only other major changes to the lockdown today involve care homes and social interaction outside with one other person.
From today, two people from separate households can meet outside for recreation, which can include sitting down and drinking coffee, for example.
Also, one designated person can visit a relative inside a care home, but will need to be wearing PPE, take a lateral flow test and 'keep physical contact to a minimum'.
The 'stay at home' order is enforced until Monday, March 29, but the Government will still urge people to stay local at that stage.
MP Joy Morrissey has raised concerns after learning that a Burnham Health Centre patient has been unable to obtain a GP appointment despite ‘numerous’ attempts.