With September fast approaching, the borough’s schools, colleges and education providers are gearing up to reopening their doors for the new academic year.
Pupils and students returning to the classroom has huge benefits including getting back to some sort of normality (and routine), catching up on missed learning as well as learning new skills. In addition, learning can boost our mental health and wellbeing as well as the social aspect of getting out of the house or just being with others – whether that be in online learning groups or face-to-face.
Things we once did can once again be enjoyed, providing we embed a few simple steps into our daily lives. These include maintaining social distancing wherever possible (keep 2m apart from others), wear a face covering where advised and regularly wash your hands with soap and water.
Prior to the summer holidays, the borough’s schools successfully and safely reopened to targeted year groups (Reception, Year 1, Year 6, Year 10 and Year 12) so plans and procedures have been thoroughly tested and have been in place for some time.
All schools have been supported by professionals such as Public Health, Health and Safety and Environmental Health to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place (such as changes to classroom layouts to adhere to social distancing and the introduction of one way systems). This has included the development of tailored risk assessments, cleaning has taken place over the summer period and enhanced cleaning regimes have been introduced on a daily basis. Where possible, schools are staggering start / end times to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and PE lessons will take place outdoors where possible. Schools are keeping their websites updated with specific information for parents / carers.
Students at Knowsley Community College will be issued with a “Keeping you safe at college” booklet, which provides advice around getting to college safely, safety measures introduced within the college buildings including keeping to the left in corridors and staircases, socially distanced classrooms, staggering breaks to promote social distancing, screens installed in the reception area and promotion of good hygiene practices including regular hand washing.
An extensive range of adult education courses will be delivered by the Family And Community Education (FACE) service. Some courses will be delivered remotely with some courses delivered face-to-face from a number of ‘hubs’ across the borough. Steps have been taken to promote safe learning including limited class sizes, adjusting classroom layouts and enhanced cleaning is operational in all locations. From art, digital skills and floristry to Maths, English, Photography and Spanish, there’s lot of learning opportunities taking place across Knowsley. Find out more in the FACE course guide.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said “We all have a part to play in building a stronger, healthier Knowsley. As you can see, our education providers have taken steps to provide safe learning environments. Our learners can play their part by ensuring they maintain social distancing, wear a face covering where advised such as on public transport and continue to regularly wash their hands. These steps will help to stop the spread of the virus and help us all to get back to some kind of normality.”