At St Joseph’s we pride ourselves on our resilience during adverse times and our ability to continue to stride forward with a focused determination for the whole school community. The current pandemic has demonstrated how the school and, through our strong relationships with the local community, can provide support for our families.
Since March 2020 and through the national lockdown, the school has remained open. This has allowed us to support pupils and their families in a variety of ways.
School staff set up a foodbank for families who required additional support. We gratefully received food donations from parents, staff, and our local community network. Families were able to select from a fresh, variety of food daily throughout the lock down. In addition to this, supermarket vouchers were given to families. This level of support has continued throughout this academic year and we ensure that all pupils in receipt of free school meals receive ongoing voucher support, when required.
Throughout this time, pupils’ education and wellbeing has remained a priority. During lockdown, staff attended school daily to provide continuous onsite education for the pupils, whose parents were key workers. Parents were able to attend work during this time knowing that their child was safe and cared for whilst they continued working in their vital roles.
The school has embraced modern technology to further support teaching and learning. We use Google Classroom effectively to ensure that all pupils continue to learn and achieve, whilst working in school and remotely. Remote learning has been supported with video conferencing and has provided pupils with daily direct teaching from their class teacher when working from home.
Our priority was to ensure all pupils had access to technology to be able to access remote learning. This was achieved by providing families with laptops and access to Wi-fi where necessary.
Supporting all our families and coming together during these challenging times has been made possible by using technology to deliver assemblies and celebrate our achievements. It has been a valuable resource for maintaining contact with families self-isolating and providing them with regular contact.
We are a strong community supported by a proactive PTA who have been vital in maintaining contact beyond the school environment. They have organised distribution of uniform to families needing help. They generously gave each child in the school a pencil case with stationary to welcome them back in September and working together they have begun to create a path of personalised decorated stones representing each family.
Our motto is ‘Together We Can’ and our school community has embodied this through the pandemic.