Pupils and staff at The Rudheath Senior Academy took a well-earned break from computer screens in a day designed to promote health and wellbeing.
Most of the school’s pupils are currently at learning at home via online platforms, due to the Coronavirus lockdown.
But in response to a report by the Children’s Commissioner for England, which warns one in six children are likely to have a ‘mental health condition’ due to the impact of missing normal school life, Rudheath decided to act.
‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ encouraged everyone to take time away from remote learning and teaching to focus on developing different skills such as in cooking, art, drawing, writing and outdoor exercise.
Headteacher Lee Barber: “The quality of our remote learning has been good, and teachers have excelled in the switch to online teaching, with pupils adapting really well too.
“But the current restrictions have placed challenging circumstances on our families, and wellbeing and kindness are at the centre of our inclusive culture.
“So in-line with our trust ethos of ‘opening children’s eyes to the wonderful world of possibility’, we have encouraged pupils and staff to take time away from their computers and focus on working and upskilling in a different style. It has been very well received by all involved.
“We are looking forward to welcoming back pupils when the time is right but, until then, we will encourage and support them to keep mentally active and healthy throughout the lockdown.”
The children of key workers are still attending school, and they had the opportunity to cook with Mr Barber.
He added: “It’s always a privilege to spend time with our young people, supporting them in trying out new skills which they may not ordinarily have the opportunity to do.”
The school is part of North West Academies Trust, which led an appeal for people to donate used laptops. The campaign’s success means all children at the Trust’s eight schools have access to online learning.
The generous donations of used devices, which the Trust restored, have enabled a surplus to be passed on to other schools local to Rudheath.