Staff and pupils at Queens Park Academy are celebrating being awarded grant-funding to support pupils’ hands-on home-learning during the coronavirus pandemic.
The grant, from Bedford Borough’s Education Improvement Strategy Group, will enable the school to provide bespoke learning packs for over 50 children throughout the Borough.
“For many families, online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, has been incredibly challenging,” said Jo Midgley, special educational needs (SEND) teacher at Queens Park Academy.
“Some pupils have poor internet connection or no internet access at all, or have access to one device between an entire family.
“As well as this, many children with special educational needs find it difficult to access online tasks.
“Online tasks do not always offer support in some of the key areas that they need it, including fine motor skills (cutting, threading, sticking) and communication skills.”
With this in mind, the Queens Park Academy SEND team applied for a grant to create bespoke packs for children with English as an additional language, those with communication and interaction needs (including non-verbal and pupils with Autism) and to help with cognition and learning.
These packs include a wide range of practical resources along with clear, visual instructions of how families can use them.
“The packs will enable children and their families to engage with practical activities that will be interesting, fun and develop key skills,” said Jo.
“The packs include things they’re used to using in school, so they’ll be familiar to the children. We’ve included the kind of basics that lots of us take for granted – safety scissors, glue sticks, colouring pencils – but which lots of children don’t have access to at home.”
The team at QPA emailed other schools to see if any of them were interested in some of the packs for their own students. “We were inundated,” said Jo.
Livingstone, Edith Cavell, Priory, Great Denham, Renhold, Goldington, Caldwell, Kings Oak, St Josephs and St Gregorys, Scott Primary, Hazeldene and Kempston Challenger Academy have all taken QPA up on their offer.
“We hope the children and their families will enjoy using the resources at home, which will continue to support their learning during the next few academic years, and that it will help their transition back to school in September.”