On Friday 20th March, normal school closed and for the vast majority of Federation children, that was the start of Home School. However, for a small number of Keyworker children, Monday 23rd March was a normal school day, although the school they arrived at that morning, had changed beyond recognition and was far from normal.
Mrs Murray and her staff, had worked tirelessly trying to iron out the finer points of how we would be able to provide essential wrap around care for the keyworker children, whilst keeping those children and their families, and the staff and their families safe.
We worried about how the children would cope with Lockdown School, how they would react with teachers they wouldn’t necessarily know, or, in the case of St Helena’s children, a school building that wasn’t their normal setting. There were also new rules to deal with: keeping your distance; washing your hands for 20 secs at regular intervals; tables, chairs, equipment all being wiped down throughout the day.
We should have known better though. The children were amazing, taking it all in their stride, quickly adapting to this new way of schooling and the sound of a child’s voice singing ‘Happy Birthday’ as they washed their hands was a heart-warming, unforgettable sound. The staff singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ was also unforgettable……but for entirely different reasons!
Books, arts and crafts featured throughout Lockdown school and, as per Government Guidelines, the children were outside as much as possible, taking part in socially distanced games, nature rambles around the field, and helping in the school garden as ‘Acting Young Rangers’. The staff were often seen taking part in these activities, going above and beyond on occasion…..that is to say, above the adventure playground equipment which sometimes proved to be beyond them 😀
A special shout out goes to Mr Courtney, who help raise the morale of children and staff and kept them all guessing with his frequently colour changing, Mohawk.
We are extremely proud of and impressed with, the Keyworker children and the way in which they adapted without complaint to their new ‘normal’. They made a difficult time less worrisome for their parents and far easier for the staff. You are all superstars!
The following gallery, is a chronological (or as near as possible) story of Lockdown school in pictures: