A TENT company has pitched in to help pupils return to school safely as lockdown restrictions ease. Tinker’s Bells – a glamping tent rental service based at Combridge – have provided four large tents for outdoor teaching at Picknalls First School, Uttoxeter.
Children – including Jude Harrison, son of Tinker’s Bells owner Ali Harrison – will be able to learn outside in the bell tents while in their different ‘social bubbles’.
Anne Tapp, Headteacher at Picknalls First School, said: “I am delighted that local business Tinker’s Bells has given us a bell tent and loaned us three more to support us with the government advice of offering more outdoor learning. We know that pupils enjoy learning outside, which supports our commitment to caring about children’s wellbeing and providing inspired teaching. We are proud to have re-opened and to be helping children return to school safely.
“I am thrilled to see around 100 children attend each day, which is one third of our school. I’m really grateful for the support that we have received and want to thank our staff as well the children, who have adapted to new procedures and ways of working really well. Parents have been really supportive of all the measures the school has worked hard to put in place.”
The school has resumed face-to-face teaching after completing a risk assessment and putting new safety measures in place including smaller class groups, social distancing markers, hand sanitisers, stepped up cleaning regimes and one-way systems. Remote learning is also continuing for those children unable to attend on site.
Tinker’s Bells offers a glamping service for weddings, festivals, hen parties and events. Business owner Ali Harrison was inspired to help, as her son Jude (pictured) attends the school. Ali said: “Tinker’s Bells would normally be exceptionally busy erecting tents at festivals, weddings and events throughout the summer. Coronavirus has had a huge impact on our business, however it has also given us a great opportunity to support our community.
“We are so proud that Jude attends Picknalls. It is an incredible school and I have been moved to tears, at times, during these last few months seeing the level of care the staff have given, not only to students – but also to worried parents. To be able to help in any way, to make teachers and students days a little more enjoyable, is an absolute pleasure.”
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