Headteacher’s pride as Bradford primary children embrace changes driven by Covid-19 crisis

The executive headteacher of two Bradford primary schools has praised the resilience of her children throughout the Covid-19 crisis for the way that they have embraced the changes brought about by the pandemic - including socially distancing, outdoor learning and home schooling.
 
Both Thornton and Wilsden have remained open since lockdown was announced in March, with teaching and support staff forgoing the usual end of term holidays in order to accommodate a number of children, including those who form part of key worker families.
 
The schools have now opened their doors to more children including those in years 1 and 6, Nursery and Reception who returned on June 8th in line.
 
Yet despite the difficulties posed as a result of the strict measures introduced in response to the Government’s rules to help slow the spread of the virus, Executive Headteacher Liz Davison said the children have ‘truly embraced’ what she calls ‘the new norm’.
 
She said: “Since lockdown was announced children across the country have been through so much change. Not being able to see friends and family, and for some, having to adapt to home schooling and being taught by parents and carers instead of teachers. 
 
“For the most part, the press is reporting on the doom and gloom of it all, and yet in my experience the children and their families have adapted brilliantly to what is our new norm. For now at least.Bradford primary children
 
“We’ve tried to keep learning as varied and enjoyable as possible and we’ve even celebrated different events such as VE day. All in a socially distanced way, of course. Thanks to the fantastic weather we have also taken advantage of outdoor learning and our garden has never looked so good.”
 
Mrs Davison explained that staff have been at school from 7.45am until 6pm each day in order that parents can continue their work as key workers / critical workers. And while most children have not been in school since
March 20th, teachers have been busy planning and sending them learning activities to keep them involved.
 
She said: “All of our learners took home a workbook so that they would have something in which to record all the activities that teachers sent to them. They have also been using an online platform so that they can communicate with each other through their teacher, as well as contribute to a class blog and complete different set activities.
 
“Our teachers have also been phoning children every week to check if they are getting on with their learning or if there is anything they need.
 
“Of course, it has been different, and it has required a lot of hard work from both our teachers and support staff, and our children, but for the most part it has been a positive experience.
 
“I am incredibly proud of everyone and the way they have embraced the changes, and we can’t wait to welcome back more of our children as soon as it is safe to do so.”
 
Wilsden and Thornton Primary Schools operate as part of Focus Trust, a charitable multi-academy trust which is based in the North West of England, with a vision of providing an engaging and challenging learning environment where the children are happy.

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