How a Stansted school adjusted to working under the lockdown

Forest Hall School in Stansted ran an NHS embroidery project during the lockdown.

Forest Hall School in Stansted ran an NHS embroidery project during the lockdown. - Credit: Archant

The playground may be quiet and the classrooms virtually empty, but one Stansted secondary school certainly hasn’t been resting on its laurels during the lockdown.

Teachers and students from Forest Hall School quickly adapted to the new routine of working from home and through online programmes.

But although the shutdown has proved a challenge, the school is proud of what it has achieved during the period, including catering for up to 15 key worker and vulnerable children every day from both Forest Hall and Magna Carta Primary Academy.

The lockdown also saw staff implementing a comprehensive online learning programme, making more than 2,500 welfare calls to check on pupils’ progress, and organising Tesco food vouchers for more than 150 families.

The school posted more than 600 well done postcards and 25 Exceptional Home Learner awards, provided more than 25 families with additional IT equipment for home and internet access to enable work to be completed, and dispatched work and reading books to more than 100 students each week who requested paper copies of their work.

Beyond academic work, Forest Hall continued to provide extra-curricular activities remotely, which involved launching the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for 19 Year 9 and 10 students, sending out seven Friday Family Challenges for families to test their knowledge together, launching an NHS embroidery project, and creating a video to support students with their mental wellbeing and health as part of Mental Health Awareness Week

Head of school Hannah Jones said: “I am extremely proud of our staff, governors, parents/carers and students. Everyone has really stepped up to the challenge and is pushing themselves to be exceptional.

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“I want to personally thank the staff for going above and beyond to support students with their home learning, offering students enrichment opportunities and by being there for students if they need support.

“Our students have been exceptional in adapting to this new way of life and by pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone. I am excited to see how students engage with the opportunities open to them after half term.”