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Rainbow of Hope helps spread joy during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 11:00 30 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:00 30 July 2020

The 'Rainbow of Hope' on display at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft as children's messages and poems spready joy. Pictures: Gunton Primary Academy

The 'Rainbow of Hope' on display at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft as children's messages and poems spready joy. Pictures: Gunton Primary Academy

Archant

Staff at a Lowestoft-area primary school have hailed the achievements of pupils and the support of parents and carers during these “incredibly uncertain and unprecedented times.”

The 'Rainbow of Hope' on display at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft as children's messages and poems spread joy. Pictures: Gunton Primary AcademyThe 'Rainbow of Hope' on display at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft as children's messages and poems spread joy. Pictures: Gunton Primary Academy

Gunton Primary Academy has issued a “huge well done and thank you” to all of their children, parents and carers for their “fabulous home-schooling efforts” over the last few months,

Pupils at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft showcase their home learning, which was praised by staff at the school. Picture: Gunton Primary AcademyPupils at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft showcase their home learning, which was praised by staff at the school. Picture: Gunton Primary Academy

With the families of Gunton children being praised for embracing the new ‘home’ schooling approach, the school on Gainsborough Drive, Lowestoft provided various methods for learning to continue at home.

Pupils at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft showcase their home learning, which was praised by staff at the school. Picture: Gunton Primary AcademyPupils at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft showcase their home learning, which was praised by staff at the school. Picture: Gunton Primary Academy

These included online English, maths, science and computing tasks; paper-based learning packs and a range of activities centered around the planned themes that the children would have normally learned about in school, including poetry, art and core skills.

The 'Rainbow Wall of Hope' on display at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft as children's messages and poems spread joy. Pictures: Gunton Primary AcademyThe 'Rainbow Wall of Hope' on display at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft as children's messages and poems spread joy. Pictures: Gunton Primary Academy

With numerous email accounts set up ready for lockdown, families were able to stay in touch, seek support and also send teachers details of their child’s achievements.

The 'Rainbow of Hope' on display at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft as children's messages and poems spready joy. Pictures: Gunton Primary AcademyThe 'Rainbow of Hope' on display at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft as children's messages and poems spready joy. Pictures: Gunton Primary Academy

Staff at the school said they were “amazed” by the variety of the responses received as they enjoyed responding to the many messages.

Pupils at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft showcase their home learning, which was praised by staff at the school. Picture: Gunton Primary AcademyPupils at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft showcase their home learning, which was praised by staff at the school. Picture: Gunton Primary Academy

A daily album of photos and explanations was created and posted on the school’s Facebook page so that children could feel proud of their achievements.

Pupils at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft showcase their home learning, which was praised by staff at the school. Picture: Gunton Primary AcademyPupils at Gunton Primary Academy in Lowestoft showcase their home learning, which was praised by staff at the school. Picture: Gunton Primary Academy

Kirsten Stone, deputy headteacher, said: “Our five learning dispositions are an integral part of what we are about at Gunton and I felt it was extremely important that we kept encouraging our children to develop these whilst they were learning at home.

“The response from parents was incredible and it was a highlight of my day to look at the emails which came in and then put the album together.”

Each week, a Visible Learner Award certificate was awarded via email to at least two children from every class – with almost 400 being sent out by the end of term.

Headteacher Matthew Jordan was incredibly proud of the community effort.

Mr Jordan said: “I would like to say a big thank you and well done to all the Gunton families and staff for their enthusiasm and support during such a challenging time.

“I want to wish all of our families and local community a safe and lovely summer.”

Rainbow of Hope project

Being physically active and well-being was also a daily priority thanks to a virtual sports tournament organised by the North Suffolk Schools’ Partnership. Each week, a new sporting challenge was set, with Gunton’s PE instructor, Alex Kounnas, increasing the profile of the tournaments by posting his own and other teacher’s videos to encourage more and more children to get involved.

This included a Race for Life challenge as children at school and home got involved and staff even took part in a fun after school netball challenge to support the fundraising.

For the mental well-being of all children, staff and families, the school organised a ‘Rainbow of Hope’ project.

Words of hope and poetry were sent in by children, which have since become a large rainbow display in the centre of school, ready for full reopening.

To spread these messages of hope and optimism, the school has sent children’s drawings and poetry to local care homes, for staff and residents who might be anxious at this time.

With Gunton Primary Academy – like many other schools locally – remaining open for key workers and vulnerable children from March 20, staff at all levels volunteered their time to help support other public services through Easter and the May half-term.

More than 10 per cent of the children enjoyed this childcare in so-called ‘bubbles’.

They were then joined by more than 50pc of the priority Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children from June onwards.

These children enjoyed the full curriculum and took part in mini-sports day challenges in their bubbles, computer coding and many practical science lessons outdoors.


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