THE HEADTEACHER of Winton Community Academy is “very proud” by the way that his staff and pupils have reacted to the government’s lockdown.

Nathan Thomas says that after schools were closed to all apart from the most vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers on March 20, their ‘virtual school’ opened after just the weekend.

Teachers have been delivering four hours of online learning every day via Google Classroom, whilst students have a virtual assembly on a daily basis “to set the tone for the day”, Mr Thomas said.

This method, rather than setting independent work for their pupils to do, allows teachers to give “high-quality individual feedback”, and the school has seen 94 per cent of their students engaging on a daily basis.

“We are extremely proud of the efforts that everyone has been making to continue their learning,” Mr Thomas added.

“A recent national poll showed that only around a third of children are accessing online learning at home, so for us to have over 90 per cent of students engaged is very impressive.”

However, the headteacher has been keen to continue with the more fun side of school, to keep spirits up.

He sets a daily ‘Headteacher’s Challenge’ - which could be anything from balloon juggling to learning a TikTok dance.

Prizes have been posted to children and a special Easter egg delivery went out at the end of last term.

And the school’s support during this difficult time doesn’t stop there. In the evenings, the school has provided music quizzes for families, as well as a weekly virtual parent meeting. This provides them an opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns.

“Winton is a community school and I am incredibly proud to be a part of it,” Mr Thomas told the Advertiser.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to our whole community who have managed to keep learning and keep positive at this difficult time.

“Students, parents and teachers have risen to the challenge and the innovation and engagement from the whole of our community makes me incredibly proud to work for Winton and to be a part of the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET).”