School fosters community spirit
OUR Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School is making sure most of its children don’t miss out on the usual summer experiences - by holding them in September.
The school has said that children will spend the first couple of weeks of the new school year with their teachers from 2019-10 in their old classrooms. They will also have a sports day and there are plans for a Year 6 Leavers’ Mass when it is safe to do so.
School business manager Jayne Russell said: “We are so looking forward to welcoming all the children back to school. We feel it is important that each class has the opportunity to ‘finish’ their school year together, where they can reflect and reminisce about their challenges and achievements before moving on to their next year group.”
The school, like all others, has had to work differently since March but has worked hard to maintain its togetherness and community spirit.
One of the highlights of the spring and summer was VE Day, when children learned about the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.
Jayne Russell said: “We were able to make links between the community spirit shown by the wartime generation, and the way our country has come together recently to follow Government advice and staying home as much as possible to protect the NHS and save lives.
“Time was spent creating a stunning display, and on the Thursday we celebrated in style, playing war-time games such as 5 stones (similar to Jacks), eating cake, drinking home-made lemonade and listening to music – all whilst socially distancing of course!”
Work has been going on behind the scenes to improve the look and feel of the school environment. Key worker children who have been in school have helped paint tyres and turn them into planting beds. Further tyres have also been recycled into an obstacle course on the school field.
The ‘Communi-tree’ out at the front of the school has been decorated with colourful ribbons, as signs of hope and optimism. The ribbons were added by children in school, but also by many of the school community who have been at home, joining in with the project during the daily walks.
Another communal project was to revamp the alleyway by the playground entrance. The most exciting development of this area is the new ‘Leavers’ Wall’, where Year 6 children are leaving their handprint, initials and date on a brick they have painted on the wall.
Although it was not possible to invite back all children at once during the summer term, the school laid on socially distanced sessions for classes on Fridays. These coincided with the launch of the Recovery Curriculum. Children brought in their ‘Happiness Boxes’ to present to their peers and presented their greatest achievements and lockdown learning.
The school’s latest project is to display ‘Moment in Time’ canvases, featuring pictures sent in from families celebrating (i) a moment of happiness during lockdown (ii) a moment of learning / achievement / conquering a challenge – academic or not – during lockdown (iii) a ‘porch portrait’ of the whole family.
“We feel it is exceptionally important to acknowledge the wide variety of challenges we have all faced during this pandemic, and especially celebrate the positives that have come from these,” Jayne Russell said.