Wednesday, 27 May 2020

At home or in school, children are still learning... and having fun

At home or in school, children are still learning... and having fun

CHILDREN of key workers are still going to school in Wargrave.

Robert Piggott Infant School has remained open during the lockdown to help parents who still have to go to work, such as NHS staff.

There would normally be 300 children at the school and the junior school but the majority of them are now being home-schooled.

When the children arrive at school in Beverley Gardens, they are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines and wash their hands regularly. They are kept apart while they are learning in the morning and also when they eat their lunch.

Afternoons are reserved for arts and activities and the children have created a banner with hand prints to say “thank you” to the NHS, which is on display outside the junior school in School Hill.

Elaine Hughes, head of the infant school, said: “We have a set-up that is working well and will continue to evolve. We operate to the best of our ability and follow the government guidelines. There is formal learning in the morning and the children eat their lunch at a safe distance.

“We have lots of art and activities in the afternoon but because there are so few children we are able to make sure they are safe and spread out.”

The staff, none of whom has been furloughed, have been posting short messages on the school’s website to keep in touch with the other pupils as well as setting them tasks to do at home.

Sally Anne-Akers, who is executive headteacher of both schools until she is replaced by Mrs Hughes in September, said: “It is really important for the smallest children. School becomes a distant memory but now they can connect with their teachers online.

“We are very concerned for wellbeing and are phoning families to make sure they are all right and feel supported. We need to make sure we are there for our school community.

“It is also very important parents don’t feel under too much pressure. We recognise some of them are trying to work from home and we do understand it is tricky. The most important thing is not to add to that stress.”

Pupils learning at home have been encouraged to continue with reading by having storytime sessions. Others have undertaken projects on the solar system and created artworks to thank the NHS.

Mrs Akers said: “I think it is important that there is some laughter at the moment and we make people smile.”

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