A PRIMARY school that has been praised for keeping students’ spirits high during closures has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.

Hoyland Common Primary School, on Sheffield Road, Hoyland, has been commended for its daily updates, tasks and videos for pupils who were forced to self-isolate during the lockdown.

Teachers sent out encouraging videos and stories for students to engage with and kept in regular contact with families.

Headteacher Billy Fallon believes communication was key to help bridge the gap during the school closures.

He said: “It was important to us that we had systems in place to make sure the transition to home learning went without much disruption.

“This brought its own challenges where we couldn’t see our pupils face-to-face.

“Communication was absolutely crucial so our amazing teachers continued to update and check in with parents and pupils on a daily basis.

“We wanted them to know we were there to not only help teach them, but also encourage them to come back to school.”

Billy hoped the regular updates would reassure parents at the start of the new term to return to the school.

“The staff have been absolutely brilliant and gone above and beyond what was needed.

“I think this was shown when we opened back up for the new school term. We were thrilled to have 99 per cent attendance in our first week back.

“In all honesty I had sleepless nights worrying about our protocols and procedures as safety was our top priority.

“I’m thrilled that our students have been eager to return thanks to the hard work of our teachers.”

The school’s daily activities have landed them a nomination in the School of the Year category at this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.

“We’re absolutely overwhelmed with this nomination. I’m really proud, as headteacher, of all our staff who are the reason for our nomination.

“Our school is a team effort with teachers, parents and our fantastic students who work so hard every single day.

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