How are Sheffield schools dealing with lockdown?

Sheffield schools are doing all they can to ensure pupils do not miss out on learning amid the national lockdown which has forced them to close once again.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 4:45 pm

Government guidance advises parents to keep their children at home if they can - until February half-term at the earliest.

Colleges, primary and secondary schools are currently only open to the children of key workers and those classed as vulnerable.

James Smythe, assistant principal of Student Experience at The Sheffield College, said: “The safety and welfare of our students and staff remains our number one priority.

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James Smythe, Assistant Principal for Student Experience at Sheffield College.

“College campuses remain closed until further notice with teaching and learning moving online and remotely due to the national coronavirus lockdown.

“We have been able to provide IT equipment to hundreds of students and we are continuing to provide more through a number of initiatives.

“If a student cannot learn online off campus, we are providing them with alternative remote working solutions such as workbooks and telephone support.

“This approach is ensuring that the College remains in a strong position to support students with their learning whilst also looking after their safety and welfare.

Nadia Durrani-Jones.

“As per government guidelines, a limited number of vulnerable students will be brought onto campus for face to face learning.”

Some schools are seeing more children in school this lockdown, but for other schools there are similar numbers.

Nadia Durrani-Jones, a teacher at Ecclesfield School, said: “Our school has approximately the same number of kids in the building as the first lockdown. Most of ours do have suitable technology, fortunately, although we have loaned some school laptops out.

“The kids we do have in school – around 15-20 out of 1,700 - are only in because their parents are key workers so unable to look after them at home or because they are in our 'highly vulnerable' group – where extended periods at home may not be safe.”

In some instances where schools have been unable to loan enough computers or where the Government has failed to supply enough devices for remote learning, the Laptops for Kids campaign has been helping to close the ‘digital divide’.

To donate to the campaign, visit: www.LTFK.co.uk

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.