Children are keeping spirits up in lockdown
Children at Weaverham Primary Academy and Oak View Academy have every reason to feel upbeat in lockdown – with their teachers pulling out all the stops to keep spirits high.
With all schools closed to everyone aside from the children of key workers and vulnerable children, because of the coronavirus crisis, pupils are required to learn at home for the foreseeable future.
But inventive teachers at Weaverham and Oak View, who are both part of the North West Academies Trust (NWAT), have been finding all sorts of ways to keep the kids entertained.
They have been setting fun tasks alongside curriculum-based activities, as well as story time with staff, fun quiz challenges and home baking ideas.
Pupils were also able to show teamwork despite being apart, when they all filmed themselves catching a toilet roll and then throwing it out of shot. Once the clips were all brought together, it looked as though the children were throwing the roll from home to home.
Fiona Whittaker, who is Executive Headteacher at Oak View in Winsford and Weaverham near Northwich, said: “It’s been quite a challenge but our staff have been inspirational in their response to this difficult situation.
“We are setting daily English and maths tasks which follow our usual curriculum but are adapted for home learning. We’re sending out powerpoint presentations from staff plus links to helpful online videos.
“Outside of this, each class has been set a variety of fun activities that the children can choose from at home. They’ve been trying out different art activities in the sunshine such as shadow drawing, and they are sharing their work by sending in photos or doing it online.
“Our younger children are doing phonics and engaging in play-based learning activities. We’ve had some amazing highlights – one family at Oak View has built a Tudor style house and another baked bread from scratch.”
Weaverham Primary Academy joined NWAT last year, and Ms Whittaker was appointed to spearhead an improvement plan following her success in transforming Oak View from being the second worst primary in the country to one of the fastest-improving, and rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.
Other NWAT schools include Delamere Academy, near Northwich, and Acresfield Primary School, Chester, which are ranked first and second in West Cheshire in the latest performance tables, and St Martin’s Academy, Chester, which is the most over-subscribed school in the borough.