Teachers and support staff at an infant school have been presented with a plaque and individual medals from the local community in recognition of their dedication to supporting children and families during lockdown.
More than 60 families contributed to a collection to surprise staff at Lodge Lane Infant School, in Old Catton, with the thank you gifts. Vicki Bowden, parent of Alex, a child in Year 1 who attends the school, which is part of the Wensum Trust, organised the collection after the idea was sparked during a conversation at the school gates.
Vicki explained: “The commitment from all the staff at Lodge Lane has been really overwhelming during these difficult times. We have friends and family members with children at other schools and they have not received the same level of support.
“It has been clear that Lodge Lane has not just done the same as everywhere else – it has really gone above and beyond. I don’t think I have ever heard so many positive things said about one school. When we were talking about the collection we would normally do at the end of term for the teachers we decided that this time we wanted to do something for the whole school and for everyone in the team to thank them for all their help.”
The collection was promoted through a community Facebook group and lots of local families agreed the entire school community should be celebrated and rewarded.
The staff were presented with their medals and the plaque in a surprise celebration in the school’s main hall.
Headteacher Beccy Dewing said: “The staff were so delighted with this kind gesture from our parents. Everyone has worked so hard to make the best of a very difficult situation. It’s been so challenging for children, parents and staff but the approach we took clearly worked. We tried to keep the learning side of things as close to normal as possible, at the same time as not putting unnecessary pressure on families to have to do everything that we suggested.
“The home learning photos and records that we have seen have shown a huge range of fantastic learning that has been taking place and we are amazed by the creative and fun activities that parents have come up with. We have all enjoyed trying out new methods of communication with our families and feel that we have developed an even closer bond with them through virtual chats and stories. I feel proud of how the Lodge Lane school community has risen to the challenge of this pandemic.”