Pupils' safety first as schools reopen across West Berkshire
"What we want to do, really, is make sure we can get back to the normal rhythm of school life as quick as possible"
Headteachers across the district have spoken of a successful return to the classroom, with thousands of local children heading back to school this week.
This follows the end of a long period of closure which began in January.
During this time, only the children of key workers and vulnerable children were allowed on school grounds.
While Monday marked the 'official' date of return, some secondary schools staggered year groups coming back as they put testing regimes in place.
John O'Gaunt School in Hungerford has transitioned quickly into a restricted routine.
Headteacher Richard Hawthorne told the Newbury Weekly News on Tuesday: "We mass-tested all of our students yesterday, under a 'test and go' system.
"Because we're fairly small, we didn't do a phased return.
"We sort of treated it like a start of the year, so we've had assemblies and tutor time for just the morning, then we're back into normal lessons from Period 3 today – under Covid measures, as you would imagine.
"In terms of daily operations, we're running a full, normal timetable for our students.
"We obviously have lots of Covid measures and controls, which do now include the expectations that students should – and I use the word 'should' – be wearing facemasks in classrooms."
He added that pupils are arranged in year group and key stage bubbles, which includes at break and lunchtime too.
Other schools – especially those with a larger student body – have moved more gradually.
The Downs School in Compton is one of those employing a multi-day return strategy, allowing different years groups to come back at different times.
The Downs headteacher Chris Prosser said: "We started testing last Wednesday, and by Friday we tested 1,000 students.
"That's continuing this week.
"What we want to do, really, is make sure we can get back to the normal rhythm of school life as quick as possible."
At Woolton Hill Junior School in North Hampshire, deputy headteacher Nicola Wallace said the children had quickly got back into the swing of things.
She said: "It's really lovely to have the children back and they're enjoying lessons, play time and seeing their friends again.
"We had balloons to welcome the children and a welcome back banner – then we had a breakfast of croissants.
"We had cakes and flowers from the parents who were very grateful for the remote learning in the lockdown period."
Mrs Wallace said there was a focus on personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education in lessons, but that the children were keen to get back to normal.