Norfolk MPs visit primary schools to hear pupils' lockdown experiences
- Credit: Simon Parkin
Four Norfolk MPs have visited primary schools to see first-hand how they are recovering from lockdown learning.
The Diocese of Norwich Church of England Schools and the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT) hosted the first of a series of school visits for MPs to hear from children and staff.
South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss was given a guided tour of Mundford Primary Academy, near Thetford, by Year 6 pupils Jack and Ali.
After visiting classrooms and seeing the school’s new garden she was given an insight into pandemic school experiences from pupils from different year groups, including Gracie Frary who had produced a Boris the Builder picture which ther MP promised to share with the prime minister.
She said: “I heard in that chat with the children the difficult things that they’ve had to do learning from home but the fact they’ve been resilient and got on with the work has been really impressive.
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“The past year has been incredibly challenging for children with all schools having to make significant changes.
“It is great to have the opportunity to discuss with teachers the work that is taking place to support students as they catch up on missed lessons.”
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Parent Molly Cox, whose sons Noah and Arthur are in Year 3 and Year 2, said the school had done an “amazing job” of providing learning throughout the pandemic and the emphasis after the latest lockdown has also been on pupil wellbeing.
“As well as putting a plan in place for the learning that the children have lost they are just as concerned about the extra curricular activities which are just as important,” she said.
“The school is really keen to get them going on school trips again and arranging as best they can sports day, things that the children most about school.”
Gemma Jermy, whose sons Alfie and Jack also attend, added: “I feel like the school is really on it and really trying to push the pupils and fill the gap of what they’ve missed to get them to achieve the best they can.”
Sarah Godbold, executive headteacher of The Churchside Federation, which includes Mundford and Gooderstone CofE Primary Academies, said: “I think it is good for the MP to see what schools look like from the internal workings of it and to actually talk to the children about their journey.
“Until you come in and see it for yourself you cannot really understand the massive changes there have been for schools.
“It’s important for the people making the decisions to see these things.”
Oliver Burwood, chief executive of DNEAT, said: “We have 36 academies and they’ve all done a fantastic job in responding to the pandemic and I wanted the MPs to hear about how schools stepped up to make sure children weren’t left behind.
“I wanted Liz Truss to see the response from this school because it was a really effective one and I wanted her to know that people have risen to that challenge to provide a really good long-term recovery.”
North West Norfolk MP James Wild paid a visit to Middleton Primary and George Freeman, Mid Norfolk MP, got to see classrooms at Necton Primary.
Meanwhile North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker paid a visit to Hindringham, Blakeney and Kelling primary schools, part of the Pilgrim Federation.
Mr Freeman said: “I am delighted to be able to pick up my regular schedule of constituency school visits once again – to continue in person the crucial conversations I have been having with Norfolk education leaders, and speak with pupils, as we look to ensure our children are not only able to catch up on what they have missed during the pandemic, but are also able to go on to thrive, excel and succeed.”
Further MP visits throughout the Diocesan schools are planned in July, September, October, November and December.