Headteacher of primary school near Sheffield explains how they are continuing to operate after lockdown

The headteacher of a primary school near Sheffield has shed light on how they are working during the coronavirus outbreak and paid tribute to the ‘wonderful staff and pupils’.

Monday, 30th March 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 5:35 pm

Mary Emmett, the head of Immaculate Conception Catholic Primary School in the village of Spinkhill, said they’re doing the best they can during these testing times.

Around 30 children were in school following the Prime Minister’s announcement around key worker status but this has fallen to just six on some days.

Mrs Emmett, who was due to retire at the end of the school year after being in education for 35 years, hopes to be back in school before the summer.

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Staff and pupils are doing their best to continue during the coronavirus lockdown

“It’s just unbelievable, I can’t quite get my head around it. Walking around the school, it doesn’t feel real without the amount of children - it’s just so strange,” she said.

“In my whole career over three decades, I haven’t experienced anything like this and it makes you think of war time of what it might’ve been like.

“We started off with about 30 applications for kids of key workers but as the new restrictions came in, this dropped by about half and expect it to get lower on various days.”

At the moment, two staff are in school plus the head. Children took paper copies of work to do at home and are accessing online resources.

Staff and pupils are doing their best to continue during the coronavirus lockdown

The school is also keeping in touch on social media and recently shared YouTube links of celebrities doing educational videos such as Joe Wicks does PE and maths with Carole Voderman.

The school is also sharing examples of the children’s work through Facebook in order it keep them connected.

Hard-working teaching and support staff were in good spirits after being recently pictured on social media cleaning down desks and equipment.

“Many of the children seem to have a good routine going with allotted break slots. It’s tough for some when one parent is out at work and another is working from home trying to balance the home learning. I understand how difficult it is for people,” Mrs Emmett added.

Staff and pupils are continuing to work hard

“We’re looking at what we can do to make sure children don’t get behind, we’re looking into some sort of live feed where children can dial in for some online learning through the vast amount of technology we have now.

“The parents are keeping in touch, I’ve pictures of all the work one four-year-old has done but It would be nice to see the kids actually seeing the teacher even if it’s just for a chat.

“The staff have been wonderful, they’re keeping really positive so the two than come in because of the rota system - they’re happy they’re in because they want to do something for the children - they’re brilliant.”

Staff and pupils are continuing to work hard