Schools 'go the extra mile' during lockdown

February 02 2021

King's Oak Academy is keeping up with online and in-school lessons during Lockdown Three

King's Oak  Academy is keeping up with online and in-school lessons during Lockdown Three

SCHOOLS in the Hanham and Longwell Green area have pulled out all the stops to make sure children are safe, fed and learning during Lockdown 3.
Teachers and leaders have set up online lessons and have worked to ensure that students working at home have the necessary technology.
Some schools, including John Cabot Academy and Hanham Woods Academy, are still appealing to the community for donations of laptops and other devices.
Schools have also been distributing food and checking up on vulnerable families.
Headteachers have praised children and families for the way they have adapted to the sudden return to remote learning. More children are in school this time than during the 2020 lockdown but the majority are doing their lessons at home.
Hanham Woods Academy has about 100 critical worker and vulnerable children at school,  and about 700 logging in from home.
The school has set up its own Covid-19 testing centre, creating booths from MDF and Perspex and training staff and community volunteers to test staff, all students on site and staff from neighbouring primary schools.
Principal Stephen Kneller said:   “All of the challenges could not have been overcome if it was not for the amazing staff who continue to ‘go the extra mile’ to ensure our young people are safe, fed and in learning every day.
“It would also not have been possible without the support of our parents.
“Most of all, the grit, determination and resilience shown by our amazing students has meant that, whilst this dreadful virus has impacted us all, we will come out the other side stronger.
“This crisis has meant we have engaged more with our most vulnerable families, established an online-learning platform that can be utilised for student absence in the future, reduced travel by holding virtual meetings and made online support for mental health and wellbeing more readily available. "Without doubt it has unified our community to support its most vulnerable members.”
King’s Oak Academy says it has 17 per cent of primary children and nine per cent of secondary students on site, because they come from key worker families or are classed as vulnerable. The remaining students are following their usual timetable from home, with some live lessons via Microsoft Teams.
The school has also been printing paper learning packs for those families that request them, as well as posting links to other online learning resources.
Children eligible for free school meals are being provided with vouchers or food parcels.
Principal Katherine Ogden said: “I would like to thank our staff, parents and children for their proactive and positive response to the situation. It has been a real team effort.
“Our parents and carers in particular have been extremely supportive of King’s Oak Academy. I am looking forward to us continuing to work together to ensure that all children in our academy are learning safely and that they continue to thrive.”