HEADTEACHERS have praised school staff who have been working hard to look after the children of key workers in school - and pupils now at home.

Steve Powell, headteacher at Nunnery Wood High School, said staff were making the most of an unprecedented situation after schools were closed in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

He said: “The creativity and positivity of staff has been hugely impressive.

"Within two days we had set up a system by which 30 pastoral and other school staff had phone systems fitted so that can work from home as if they were in school.

"Safeguarding and care is carrying on each day with phone calls checking in our students sometimes on a daily basis.

"Students are able to access mental health support from staff and our educational psychologist is delivering Skype sessions to all the students he was previously supported.

"The way in which our large, complex pastoral support team switched to home-working was breath-taking.

"In school, every day, a core team of teachers and the leadership team accommodate students whose parents are busy delivering frontline services and these students do a variety of activities including fitness.

"All other students are being delivered work through our online systems.

"We were quick to find a way to credit money to students in receipt of free school meals via an e-coupon systems and we will continue to find ways to help our families - many of whom will be suffering real hardship because of this situation.

"I've never been more proud to lead a school of such impressive students, staff and parent. From scratch we've changed, adapted and will carry on refining our offer. I know that this is happening right across the county."

Kate Wilcock, headteacher at Pitmaston Primary School, in St John's, said: "Our children at Pitmaston are enjoying various activities with the staff in school involving sport, competitions and games outside, art and craft activities and even some scientific experiments.

"Thank you to Mark Dove, who has been doing some golf-coaching, Charlotte from Relax Kids, who has been leading yoga and Darren from KITS Academy, who has been coaching the children.

"A huge thank you from myself to all the amazing staff at school, who are helping daily to support our critical key worker parents by caring for our children."

Also helping pupils were teachers from the Rivers CE Multi-Academy Trust.

Among them was Julie Jones, from St Clement's CE Primary school in St John's, who worked in school with year 3 pupil Anayah Hall, to create a rainbow picture which is now on display in front of the school in Henwick Road.

Kate Brunt, CEO for the Rivers Trust, said: "All teachers are working incredibly hard to make sure they support pupils and parents in these unprecedented times.

"Our schools and many others across the county and beyond are staying open over the Easter period, including Bank Holidays, to ensure vulnerable pupils and pupils who have parents that are critical workers are cared for during these uncertain times.

"Teachers will also continue to make sure work is available to do at home, although we appreciate pupils and parents need a break over this holiday period."