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Forest Gate school going the extra mile to engage with pupils during coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 March 2020

Safaa Patel, 5, holding up her painting which pays tribute to the NHS who are working tirelessly during this pandemic. Picture: Samir and Shohema Patel

Safaa Patel, 5, holding up her painting which pays tribute to the NHS who are working tirelessly during this pandemic. Picture: Samir and Shohema Patel

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The closure of schools as a result of the coronavirus crisis has caused disruptions in the sector, with Sandringham Primary School among those now only open for the children of key workers.

Safaa Patel, 5, painting as she works from home as Sandringham primary school has been closed due to coronavirus. Picture: Samir and Shohema Patel.Safaa Patel, 5, painting as she works from home as Sandringham primary school has been closed due to coronavirus. Picture: Samir and Shohema Patel.

Despite the upheaval, deputy headteacher Becky Reuben said morale is high at the Forest Gate school.

She said: “The headteacher and core staff are doing an incredible job. The teachers at home are doing their best in the circumstances, and the children are engaging with the online homework.”

She said a brand new system has been set up to enable the children’s learning, which the teachers and children are adjusting to.

The teachers at Sandringham are thinking outside the box when it comes to their pupils’ education.

The school’s Spanish teacher has created a YouTube channel designed for home learning. The first video went live on Monday, and there is a clear appetite for more.

There is also an online app — Weduc — which parents can use to send in photos of what their children are working on.

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It was here they received photos from Samir and Shohema Patel, the parents of five-year-old Safaa Patel, who is a reception child at the school.

Safaa painted a tribute to the NHS, with mum Shohema explaining that “the ‘we love our NHS’ part was us, but Safaa did all the painting.”

She added that transitioning to home-schooling has had its challenges, but “it’s good because we can spend more time together.”

Both Samir and Shohema set Safaa activities every day, with the painting their way of “showing the NHS that they have our support”.

The staff at Sandringham were “delighted” when they received the photos, praising Safaa for the thankful message and for following the rules by staying at home.

They hope that others will follow the example of the Patel family by continuing to engage with the school during the closure.

Their priority is that pupils continue to feel part of the Sandringham community, vital at such a challenging time.


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