One school’s experience: Felsted Primary in Essex, a lesson in how to handle lockdown

Pupils at Felsted Primary have a new building since lockdown. Picture: FELSTED PRIMARY

Pupils at Felsted Primary have a new building since lockdown. Picture: FELSTED PRIMARY - Credit: Archant

During lockdown Felsted Primary stayed open. It now has a new building and more children are back.

Felsted Primary School, which stayed open for keyworkers’ children throughout lockdown, now has a new building.

More children have returned. The year ones, year sixes and reception pupils returned to find a new reception classroom, a new year two classroom and a practical room which can be used for cooking and science.

Co-headteacher Byrony Collins said: “This has been a challenging and difficult time for all schools. We have been open throughout lockdown.

“Staff have been in school looking after our key worker children. Some of our year six Reception and year one children are now back in school in small groups.

“It has been wonderful having more children in school and we all loved seeing the big smiles when they returned.

“With the timing of lockdown, our new build had stopped but it is now finished and we have been able to start using our new rooms. The block also has a separate section for Little Acorns the pre-school to use, which has amazing facilities. We are very pleased with the building and look forward to having a proper opening ceremony once the restrictions are lifted.”

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Ms Collins added: “We are very proud of the way staff and parents have adapted to the online learning. We set up lots of things to help the children to stay motivated, like our Jim Bear Awards and Reading Champions.

“We set up some special weeks. Last week was sports week with a daily challenge. Parents uploaded videos and photos of the children having fun completing these.

“We are planning a nature week and a baking week before the end of term.

“Everyone is having to adapt and the children, parents and staff at Felsted primary School have shown how fantastic they are at working together to make the best of a very difficult situation.”

Felsted Primary is graded outstanding by Ofsted.

The school, with some 270 pupils, has achieved the Sports Activemark and the Bronze Award for Eco Schools.

The Ofsted report said: “Felsted is an outstanding school. Parents and carers are very appreciative of the school’s work. One commented, ‘It is the best school our children have ever been to. They love school and their skills and knowledge since being here have far exceeded our expectations.”