Dedicated staff at Lawn Manor Academy who have been teaching children of key workers on the first day of the national schools shutdown say most parents have managed to make childcare arrangements to allow them to stay at home.
Headteacher Sandra Muir said eight teachers, one teaching assistant, one administrator, one pastoral staff member and the entire senior leadership team were at the school ready to welcome those students who could not be cared for at home, but that only five students came in to the school.
“We had fewer students in than we had anticipated, so we were soon able to reduce the staff levels to four teachers,” said Ms Muir.
“We have set up a rota for each day of the week, but we wanted to make sure that on the first day we had ample provision and that the right children were coming to school. We are also ensuring that students based at home are completing the online work that has been set by their class teachers.
“We have this very small group of students based in our library, where there are plenty of resources including books, other reading materials and computers, but top of the curriculum is social distancing and handwashing.
“We are trying to break the day up so students are not indoors all day, but we are very mindful of the importance of keeping social distancing in place. The weather has been kind to us today, so we have been able to set up our outdoor tennis courts and we also have basketball hoops, which means students can get some exercise and fresh air while staying well away from each other and keeping well away from public open space.
“We are taking each day at a time at Lawn Manor and are ensuring that we are following all Government guidance. We understand this is a challenging and anxious time for pupils and parents.
“Our staff team have been fantastic at volunteering for additional days on the rota to help other staff who have small children or partners working in the NHS. I’m very proud of them for their dedication and professionalism, and I’d also like to say a big thank you to all parents for their support in this. There have clearly been huge efforts made to arrange childcare while students study at home, which has meant that the children who have come in are genuinely those who have parents playing their own key role in protecting the community.”