December 12 2013 Latest news:
By STEVE DOWNES
Friday, January 18, 2013
While hundreds of schools closed their doors as the big freeze tightened its icy grip, there was one place nestled on the Norfolk coast that was made of sterner stuff.
For, while most of its neighbouring schools admitted defeat amid safety fears, Sheringham Primary stayed open - keeping up its record of not having closed for snow in more than 20 years.
The remarkable run comes despite it being the largest primary in Norfolk: at 600-plus pupils it comes in above some high schools.
Yesterday, all but five members of staff made it to work, while more than half of the students were at their desks.
And they were rewarded with plenty of fun, playing football in the snow and making snowmen in the ground of the school, at Cooper Road.
On its website, a message from headteacher Dominic Cragoe read: “School open as normal. Please don’t feel pressurised into bringing your children in if it’s dangerous for you: we are merely trying to keep the day as normal as possible for you.
“Please also feel free to collect your child early if you wish.”
Senior teacher Tim Groves said: “I’ve been connected with the school for more 20 years and I cannot remember a day when we’ve closed for snow.
“We had to close late morning once when the water main burst on Holway Road. But not once for snow.”
He added: “Enough of the staff live within walking distance, and we don’t normally have it that bad here. And we’ve got a reputation that we never close.
“We are creative about what we do and how we cover for each other. The children have had a wonderful time building snowmen.”
Mr Groves said if there were only 50 children able to get in, it would still worth opening “to provide a service for those parents who have to work”.
He said: “We always consider it’s important to be open. We are here for the children and to serve the community.”