There may be snow on the ground but classes have been running as normal at Alderman Swindell School in Great Yarmouth which has stayed open throughout the cold snap.

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The school in Beresford Road was open to pupils on Friday – when snow finally hit the east coast – and it was business as usual yesterday (Monday), with breakfast club up and running from 8am.

Alison Hopley, headteacher, said the reason Aldermen Swindell had stayed open was down to its motto.

“We don’t close,” she said. “So that’s the expectation of everybody (to get in). I live the furthest away so if I can get in everybody else can and we’re an infant school so the majority of the children are local and can walk in. And I do have a lot of staff that live nearby. I do have some that live further afield but they make the effort to try and get in.”

Miss Hopley travels 15 miles from Loddon to get to school and said she had been getting up earlier to make sure she was in on time.

She said: “I have a brilliant staff and it was all hands to the deck clearing the car park and we’re all out there with shovels and rock salt – even some of the parents came in earlier – to make sure the playground is safe and there’s a safe path for everyone to get to the doors.”

And classes have been adapted to take advantage of the snow with pupils and teachers alike building snowmen and taking part in light-hearted snowball fights.

Miss Hopley said: “We use the snow as an opportunity to have an exciting first-hand experience and instead of milk time we’ve had hot chocolate time.

“The children are all happy to be here, they’re used to being outside as we’re a forest school.”

13 comments

  • My heartfelt congratulations to Mrs Hopley and all the staff at this school for staying open and more importantly using the conditions as an enjoyable learning experience. All schools need a strong head teacher with the courage of their convictions. To state to parents that the school should be open and then to close it only undermines any respect that the parents have for that head teacher. I had to take a holiday day to care for my children and decided to have a day out in Norwich - easily driving there on clear roads that were apparently 'too treacherous' to drive on. For me it is now one less day with my children in the summer. ;-(

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    siouxsie

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • To add to the comment from Carol Barnes. Schools are giving children, especially teenagers, that the normal response to a small problem is to just give up. How is this preparing them for adult life?

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    siouxsie

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Living on the same Road as the school they have done a fantastic job to open. I've been past at 7.30am in the mornings and there are staff out there with shovels clearing the paths. They deserve a large pat on the back and I think Miss Hopley should be sent to other schools to shake them up. Snow too often means a duvet day for many!

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    newsgirl

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Well done to all the staff and pupils for carrying on as usual - an example to all those that panicked and stayed closed!

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    Maria

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • To add to the comment from Carol Barnes. Schools are giving children, especially teenagers, that the normal response to a small problem is to just give up. How is this preparing them for adult life?

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    siouxsie

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Well done for common sense. Listened to the radio the other day when a head teacher said she wasn't going to reopen her school until she could provide a normal teaching service. I was appalled. What does she think business and industry do, they have health and safety rules just the same as anyone else. What people do is do the best they can in the circumstances but what that doesn't mean is to try to do nothing. Most schools are a disgraceful example to our young people.

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    Carol Barnes

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Well done to all the staff and pupils for carrying on as usual - an example to all those that panicked and stayed closed!

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    Maria

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • A victory for common sense. Well done ASS! Too much red tape these days with H&S regulations and schools afraid of being prosecuted by parents (and possibly staff).

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    Roger Norton

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • A victory for common sense. Well done ASS! Too much red tape these days with H&S regulations and schools afraid of being prosecuted by parents (and possibly staff).

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    Roger Norton

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Well done to all the staff at Alderman Swindell Infant School for staying open as usual. Great picture of my daughter too! She's so proud of her school and so she should be. I'm glad to be associated with the school. Scott

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    ams

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • I agree Maria. Well done to the staff.

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    "V"

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Well done to all the staff at Alderman Swindell Infant School for staying open as usual. Great picture of my daughter too! She's so proud of her school and so she should be. I'm glad to be associated with the school. Scott

    Report this comment

    ams

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Well done to all the staff and pupils for carrying on as usual - an example to all those that panicked and stayed closed!

    Report this comment

    Maria

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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