National Thank a Teacher Day: Trust calls on people to applaud hard work during coronavirus pandemic

An academy trust with schools in the Hastings and St Leonards area is calling on everyone to applaud the hard work of head teachers, teachers and staff on National Thank a Teacher Day (May 20).

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 1:31 pm

Schools which are part of the Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust (DCAT) have remained open for the children of key workers and those who are vulnerable during the coronavirus outbreak.

All Saints CE Junior Academy in Hastings, as well as St Pauls Church Of England Academy, Christ Church C Of E Primary School and Saint Leonard’s Church of England Primary Academy in St Leonards, are all part of the trust across East and West Sussex.

Chief executive Mark Talbot explained how working as a group of schools has helped them respond to the challenges of providing education at home and supporting the efforts of parents and carers.

Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust (DCAT) schoolchildren during the lockdown

He said: “Helping children achieve their God-given potential is the vision of the trust.

“Video lessons, family projects, online marking and using local taxi firms to deliver work packs for those who can’t access the internet have all been part of the response.

“We are proud of their efforts – they have all gone the extra mile.”

Katherine Hurd, head teacher at All Saints CE Junior Academy in Hastings, said: “Children come first in our schools. We have been working together as head teachers across DCAT to share what we are doing, including how we are supporting the wellbeing and mental health of the children.

“Across our nine schools, the creativity of the staff has been wonderful to see.

“Examples include: head teachers writing personally to every child; daily phone calls home for some; and staff remotely making videos for the children to watch, including one teacher adapting the words of a well-known Disney song to send a message to the children that they are missed and will be back together soon.”

DCAT has funded access to counselling to any of the 500 members of staff in its trust and all appreciate the variety of challenges adults face during Covid-19.

As the schools look forward to reopening, the trust has ordered PPE for them, and St Catherine’s College in Eastbourne has led the way in making equipment, with plans to share with other DCAT schools.

Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust schools across East and West Sussex include: Central CE Academy and The March C Of E Primary School in Chichester; St Catherine’s College and St John’s Meads Church Of England Primary School in Eastbourne; All Saints CE Junior Academy in Hastings; and St Pauls Church Of England Academy, Christ Church C Of E Primary School and Saint Leonard’s Church of England Primary Academy in St Leonards.

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