School forced to close for Christmas early due to Covid cases

Hethersett VC Primary School which has closed early for Christmas due to coronavirus cases. 

Hethersett VC Primary School which has closed early for Christmas due to coronavirus cases. - Credit: Denise Bradley

A village school has been forced to close two weeks before the Christmas holiday break after coronavirus affected seven out of 10 classes.

Hethersett VC Primary School has closed to all pupils due to an increased number of positive cases of Covid-19 within the school. 

The closure has left pupils unable to take part in planned Christmas events including an online nativity production. 

Parents have been informed that the school will remain closed from the end of Friday, December 4 until pupils are due to return after the Christmas holidays on Monday, January 4. 

The school has 305 pupils and is part of the Hethersett Cluster of schools.

Headteacher Matthew Parslow-Williams declined to give the number of positive cases the school had seen but said they were working with Norfolk County Council. 

He said: “Out of 10 classes we have had to close seven. Staff members and also children are affected.”

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The school hopes to stage some festive events when pupils return in the New Year to make up for the disappointment.

“We were going to be holding a nativity production online for parents that has been cancelled,” said Mr Parslow-Williams.

Hethersett VC Primary School headteacher Matthew Parslow-Williams.

Hethersett VC Primary School headteacher Matthew Parslow-Williams. - Credit: Hethersett VC Primary School

"We will now be doing it after the Christmas break. We were supposed to be doing a Santa run and going to have children have a Christmas jumper day and a Christmas dinner but we have had to put them on hold which is disappointing and a real shame, but in the grand scheme of things it is just one year in a global pandemic.”

More than a dozen schools across Norfolk were closed or partially closed because of coronavirus cases on Friday.

The Hethersett school has measures in place for children to continue their learning via online lessons, with the system tested after a class closed in a previous Covid outbreak. 

Mr Parslow-Williams said: “The feedback from parents during those two weeks was very positive. 

“It is not ideal for everybody. You have always got the issue of parents and families having to share technology and children of different abilities in classes. 

“It is very challenging for everybody but just like we would do in school all we can do is try our best for the children.”

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