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‘So proud of them’: Pupils still attending school in Arnold heap praise on key worker parents


Pupils still attending Burntstump Seely C of E Academy have heaped praise on their parents for their efforts as key workers during the Coronavirus pandemic

The school, situated at the top of Burntstump Hill in Arnold, draws its pupils from surrounding towns and villages including Linby, Arnold, Papplewick and Ravenshead, and is currently only open to the children of essential workers.

Head teacher Heather Gabb said the children and staff were facing their new situation with admirable courage and had even named the children ‘Team Heroes’ in recognition of their efforts. “I am so proud of the staff and the key worker children at Burntstump.  Not only are they coming to school so that our key workers can keep everyone safe, but they are providing warmth, comfort and fun for each other in school. We have been employing all of the safety measures of social distancing and increased hygiene controls and achieving this whilst creating a happy environment for everyone.

“As well as the children attending each day, pupils working from home have adapted extremely well to utilising the internet amongst other resources for their school work. The children are an inspiration to the staff. They are a credit to their parents and to their communities.”

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Attending school are siblings Jind and Mahi Malhi (Year 2 & 3 respectively), who said they were proud of what their parents were doing. Jind said, “We have to come to school because our mum and dad need to go to work. My Mum works for the NHS in radiology and my dad works at a shop making deliveries. I am happy and proud of them.” Mahi agreed, “My mum and dad are doing their work and saving the world! My mum is helping people get into hospital and my dad is making sure that everyone is able to get essentials at home. Our teachers are doing good too because they are keeping the schools open so that the children of the keyworkers can do their job.”

FUN: Making dens was high on the list of favourite activities at the school and the new climbing frames are the perfect place to make them.

Johari Nehisi (Year 6) said that school felt quite different now. “My mum works in a school and looks after kids and she has to go to work. I am proud because my mum is helping people. The first day at school was strange though, because we only had 9 children in, but as the week went on it became more comfortable. We have all got to know each other better even though we are in different year groups.”

Ramiyah Amos (Year 4) attends school as her mum is an NHS worker. “On the first day at school we had to get to know people we hadn’t been playing with before but it’s OK now. I have enjoyed doing arts and crafts, cutting out shapes of Easter bunnies and chicks and painting them. I will give the card to my mum and tell her I am proud of her.”

Sophie Goodridge (Year 6) explained why she didn’t mind having to go to school when others were at home. “If we don’t come to school then our parents can’t go to work. My mum is a nurse and looks after people’s kidneys. I am very proud of her because if she didn’t go into work then she wouldn’t be able to look after the sick people. I think my teachers are helping too, joining together with people like my mum to help. My mum is a hero.”

Freya Whalley (Year 3) said she was proud to attend school if it meant that she was helping. “My mum works night shifts looking after old people and my school has given me a place. The teachers are helping us to stay apart and to wash our hands, -they are helping us to remember to do it all of the time! At school we have been listening to an audio book and I liked that. I actually think school is nice at the moment and I already know everybody here.

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“I am very proud of my mum, and I am happy that people know she is doing good work. That’s why people go out and clap in the evening and there are fireworks sometimes too. I go out and clap as hard as I can, and I tell my Mum she is a brave, independent woman because she just carries on!”

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