Community spirit shines through at Werneth Primary
Date published: 12 February 2021
Werneth Primary Pastoral Lead Jackie Hodgkiss (left) is pictured with School Principal Jonathan Bell (centre) and Teaching Assistant Paul Greenwood
Despite the ongoing lockdown and the stresses and strains that the accompanying restrictions bring with that, dedicated staff and supporters of the Werneth Primary School continue to aid the children, families and the local community.
Since the Prime Minister's lockdown announcement on January 4, Werneth Primary's doors have remained very much open to support the kids and their families.
Having switched to remote learning for most pupils overnight - and opening up in-school provision for over 130 critical worker children, vulnerable children and those classified as 'otherwise vulnerable' - the school's team have worked tirelessly to support the children in their care, and the broader community.
With support from a £200 donation from Oldham Athletic Community Trust, the school re-launched the Werneth Primary School Foodbank.
The re-launch was publicised through the Latics club website and caught the attention of other community minded companies and organisations.
OACT's £200 donation was quickly matched by the Rotary Club of Oldham, which enabled the foodbank to be sustainable and able to support families who would otherwise experience 'holiday hunger' during the February half term.
School staff and Pinnacle Learning Trust colleagues from Oldham Sixth Form College also donated funds and food to support the community.
The article also caught the attention of local office refurbishment company F R Elswood, who kindly donated a whopping £1,000 to support school to purchase five Chromebooks to help children to learn from home.
This was quickly followed by the Primrose Bank Community Association, who provided the school with six laptops to support children learning at home.
Parents/carers and families have responded brilliantly to remote learning, with the vast majority of children engaging, giving the children a great platform to continue their learning journey when they return to school.
Jonathan Bell, Werneth Primary School Principal, said: “We know that so many families have been affected by the pandemic.
"Parents and carers have found themselves unemployed or with reduced incomes through no fault of their own.
"It’s heart-breaking to see the impact of this on families across the borough, so we are incredibly grateful to all of our local partners for supporting the Werneth Primary School Foodbank and providing laptops and devices that help us to provide a high-quality remote education for those children who are not in school.
"We are supporting over a third of our families with places in school and are proud to provide a community hub at a time of need.”
Meanwhile, a group of parents from Werneth Primary are particularly keen to recognise the extra effort a teacher from the nursery is doing.
One of the nursery parents told us: "Mrs Parveen has gone that extra mile during this very difficult time in lockdown to help us families to help our children get motivated in their learning.
"She has been sending children prize box gifts and certificates and 'thank you' cards on a weekly basis all packed up nicely in a special bag.
"Our children wait eagerly every week to get their new learning pack.
"The connection between the children and Mrs Parveen has remained throughout this school closure period.
"She regularly checks up on the children and asks how they are praising them for the work.
"We, as parents, would like to say a huge 'thank you' to Mrs Parveen - you are the best!"
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