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Reaction has been simply amazing, says Botesdale headteacher




A headteacher has thanked the school’s “amazing” pupils, staff and parents for rising to the challenge during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark Cobbold, who leads St Botolph’s Primary School in Botesdale, said he is enormously proud of what everybody is doing – at home and at school – to keep children stimulated and interested in learning.

“I am very proud of the children, here and at home, the staff and the parents who have all risen to the challenge,” he said.

This NHS playground sign was made by some of the staff with twins Charlie and Elena Ward, whose dad works for the NHS. (33762563)
This NHS playground sign was made by some of the staff with twins Charlie and Elena Ward, whose dad works for the NHS. (33762563)

The school, which serves Botesdale, Rickinghall, Redgrave and Hinderclay, normally has 170 pupils in its classrooms, but has seen that number decimated, with the majority of children now being homeschooled – and the school only open to the vulnerable, those with special needs or the children of key workers.

Mr Cobbold said: “It has all been very strange. Although some children and staff are in school working, there are many more who are working from home.

“Through it all, the one thing that has struck me is the way everyone has got on with it, even though, here at the school, we have different children on different days, and the classes are made up of varying ages. They are all clubbing together to get on with things.”

Five-year-old pupil Esme Erith with her fairy house that she made from daisies, twigs and leaves whilst at school.(33762110)
Five-year-old pupil Esme Erith with her fairy house that she made from daisies, twigs and leaves whilst at school.(33762110)

Those children who are attending the school are being taught the curriculum in the morning and then creative learning, such as design and technology or art, in the afternoons.

“They have been making blue hearts and rainbows during some art lessons and have decorated the school gates to show appreciation and thanks to all NHS and front-line staff,” said the 45-year-old.

“The children here have an understanding of why they are still in school and have been telling friends and staff what their mums and dads do.

Archie Wade from Year Three holding a plaster mould he made at the school - his mum, Charlotte, works for the NHS. (33762729)
Archie Wade from Year Three holding a plaster mould he made at the school - his mum, Charlotte, works for the NHS. (33762729)

“I also think it is crucial that we do this for as long as needed, so that parents who are key workers know their children are safe and can, hopefully, get on with their important jobs without worrying.”


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