St Michael’s School building in Aldbourne may be closed to all but a few children and key workers but the community spirit and work ethic of the children and staff is still very much in evidence. Teachers have praised the commitment and creativity displayed in the home learning tasks.
Ben Everitt, Deputy Headteacher at St Michael’s, commented, “We have been asking children and parents to make the most of this strange lockdown situation so younger children have been encouraged to phone relatives to create their own family tree whilst older children have been using their creativity to write about the quietness of the village during this time.”
The school has also encouraged the children to think about the meaning of compassion, the school’s value for this term. Karen Mearns, SENCO and wellbeing lead for the school explained, “During this time, it is important for us to consider the bigger picture of education and we have been so impressed with how parents have helped children to understand our value of compassion. Families have been baking cakes for postmen, creating artwork in support of the NHS and joining in the clap for carers each week.”
Staff have also been using the latest technology to keep in touch with the children. Children upload photos of their learning to an online platform called Class Dojo and teaching staff are able to comment on their work.
Each class holds regular class catch ups where the children can see each other’s work, play games and share stories. Last week all the classes were joined by the Revd Sue Rodd from the Whitton team of churches who told the story of The Lost Coin and encouraged the children to think more about the value of compassion.
Sally Ward, a parent of two children at St Michael’s said, “The school has provided us with fantastic support and guidance. The timetable provides a suggested approach with a wide variety of learning options for the children. They have been very clear in their communications that there is no pressure and it should be adapted to individual family needs.
I have been really impressed with the quick responses from teachers and teaching assistants when I’ve sent messages raising queries or asking for support. St Michael’s is once again demonstrating their ‘love for learning’ in these unprecedented times.”
The school’s close relationship with the wider village community has continued to develop during lockdown. Children have written postcards to residents of the Aldbourne Nursing Home and have delivered cookies to the staff.
Aldbourne Heritage Group produced a PowerPoint video all about the history of World War 2 in Aldbourne and next week will be hosting a live call to answer the children’s questions.
Judith Arkwright, Headteacher of St Michael’s, said, “I am so proud of how my staff team and our school families have adapted to this new way of working. Obviously, we can’t wait for schools to reopen and have everyone back together, but in the meantime, we are very grateful to be part of this active and supportive community.”