A PRIMARY school that has been praised for its outdoor activities during lockdown has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.

 

Shawlands Primary School, on Shaw Street, has ensured that all students at the school have been involved with learning, whether at home or in the classrooms.

 

Staff have encouraged pupils to attend lessons by using innovative ideas including making a campfire and a weekly outdoor disco.

 

During the lockdown, 70 per cent of year six students were attending class in socially-distanced classrooms.

 

Duncan Thompson, the head teacher at Shawlands Primary, has praised the hardworking staff for their efforts during the lockdown.

 

He said: “The outbreak took us all be surprise and we weren’t sure how long it would last.

 

“As a team we pulled together to find ways to engage our students and make them feel linked together.

 

“It was important to us that every child who could attend school was welcomed with a safe, socially distanced environment.

 

“A few students who weren’t necessarily entitled to attend but identified as struggling during home visits, were allowed to come into school.

 

“We never sent a child away, which we’re incredibly proud of.”

 

The school has started to hold outdoor learning sessions where pupils make their own campsite and learn practical skills – in a bid to improve student wellbeing.

 

“Mental health is very important, so we ensured that we had creative outdoor activities that aim to improve moods and bond our students.

 

“We’ve toasted marshmallows over a fire pit, constructed dens, cooked, exercised and performed which we’ve loved. 

 

“This has worked really well and is something we hope to continue in the future.”

 

The school’s hard work has landed it a nomination in the School of the Year category at this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.

 

Duncan told the Chronicle: “I’m absolutely thrilled that we’re nominated at this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.

 

“We’re a happy school with fantastic staff and an amazing group of children, and this mentality has continued throughout the lockdown period.

 

“It’s been a real team effort, with teachers who have been isolating even leading online sessions, planning the cirriculum for next year and supporting pupils’ wellbeing.

 

“I can’t thank everybody enough for their support.”