Their gates may have been closed due to coronavirus, but these schools have shown that learning needn’t be confined to the classroom.
With schools across England closing to the majority of students in March, schools in London and beyond have had to work in ways that function beyond the confines of their grounds. However, in these exceptional times, schools in the UK have not only survived, but thrived.
On top of providing live lessons and end of year exams in all subjects, teachers at South Hampstead High School developed screen-free enrichment sessions and extra-curricular activities during the coronavirus crisis. In lockdown, the school’s community work included making PPE in its DT workshops, raising money for disadvantaged students, writing to vulnerable alumnae and working with parent schools. Year 10 and Lower Sixth students were welcomed back in small groups later during the last academic year for carefully-planned, subject-specific days.
SHHS also continued to provide a co-curricular offering, with students (among other activities) publishing the first online issue of the school magazine The Penguin, launching a school radio show and winning the first Girls’ Day School Trust debating competition online. One student designed a sweatshirt in lockdown to raise money to support the NHS. Inspired by the rainbow pictures in people’s windows during lockdown, Junior School pupil Martha chose to have a go at painting her own as a symbol of hope and in appreciation of NHS workers. The Year 5 student’s mother printed the design on a sweatshirt as a surprise… the SHHS pupil was so pleased with the result, she decided to make more to sell to school friends, with all profits going to the NHS. “I’m doing this to help save lives and to being all my friends back together by wearing this sweatshirt.”
The article featured in the Autumn Term issue of School Report.