Parents pitch in to get more children back to North Norfolk school
Marquee provides ‘outside the box’ solution for Aldborough Primary School
Children and parents were so keen to get back to one North Norfolk School that they pitched in to help – literally! The result is a marquee on the school playing field, which will host the Aldborough Primary School’s year 6 bubble.
“When we first reopened there was understandable hesitancy from some parents, even though the children were keen to come back,” says Aldborough’s head teacher Mrs Alison Read. “But once things got settled there was huge interest, not only from the year groups that the government mandated to return (reception, year 1 and year 6), but also from the others.
“Of course we wanted to accommodate them, but there just wasn’t the room or the resources for an extra ‘bubble’ for another year group.”
What was needed was some thinking outside the box… and up stepped a parent with the offer of a marquee and some portable toilets so that the school could create an extra bubble. The parents of Toby, a child in year 6, organised the marquee from Morton’s hire company. They arranged for the tent to be pitched and year 6 moved in on July 6, while the classroom had occupied in the school building was taken over by a year 5 bubble.
“It’s meant we’ve been able to get more children into the school, and they are so excited,” says Mrs Read. “Honestly, I felt like Father Christmas when I told the parents and the children they could come back. One parent literally jumped up and down for joy!”
Because of the pandemic, the children at Aldborough have missed lots of special events including a week away at a PGL activity centre. To make up for some of those, the marquee will be the centre of a Festival Fortnight for them, where the educational activities will include lots of forest school experiences, building and cooking on open fires, making rope swings, treasure hunts, pond dipping, making a green man using natural dyes, wacky races and film and photographic challenges. Also planned are a barbecue and a visit from an ice cream van. The fortnight will culminate in a dramatic and colourful leavers’ assembly, created by the year 6 children (with the help of their teachers) and filmed so their parents can enjoy the fun, too.
Throughout Festival Fortnight there will be plenty of hard work going on. Year 6 teacher Mrs Jill Morgan says, “They’ll have to earn their fun! We’ve just been working on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, so we will be building on that in English and history. Then there will be some tricky maths investigations, a science project or two… plus we’ll be carrying on preparing for High School next year. The time will fly by!”
“The last half term of primary school is a really special time for year 6 and coronavirus has spoilt it for children across the UK,” says Mrs Read. “I hope that what we’re doing now will be something that these children remember all their lives. I can’t tell you how grateful we are to Morton’s and to the Friends of Aldborough School, who have funded all the special extras we have needed for the Festival Fortnight.”
If you would like to contact Aldborough Primary School call the office (during school hours) on 01263 761264 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The school’s website is at www.aldborough.norfolk.sch.uk
Mrs Alison Read, Head Teacher, 01263 761264 or Catherine Wedge, 07887 647688, or Tim Morgan, 07947 280137.