News & Updates

Educating During Lockdown

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has affected many aspects of ‘normal’ daily life, including how our children are educated and schools operate.

Stacey Laws, Head Teacher at First Base Ipswich Academy gives an insight into what it’s like to be an educator at this time.

“We have had pupils on-site at First Base Ipswich throughout the lockdown period, including during the Easter holidays. Provision provided during the Easter break did change as we ran a holiday club with lots of sport, games, crafts, cooking and fundraising activities. During term time a lot has remained the same – our pupils are still following the school timetable and engaging in their usual lessons and learning.

“Teachers now plan for and provide onsite learning as well as giving support to all of our home pupils. This has included adapting plans and providing work packs to enable parents to support learning at home.

“As our pupils are young, we rely quite heavily on parental support to continue their learning at home – and parents have been great! We have provided books to ensure children have quality reading material, as well as supplying food and supplies for families in need. We are also regularly carrying out doorstep visits and making phone calls to our families.

“Our children have been very resilient in light of all the changes. The pupils attending school onsite are continuing to engage in learning with positive attitudes. They are missing having all their friends here to play with, and they often discuss the coronavirus and ask questions to seek reassurance. Pupils are being very sensible in discussions about the situation and also about engaging brilliantly with hand washing and general hygiene practises.

“Pupils at home are proudly showing us their home learning when we visit. They are missing school friends and ask when the “germs will be gone” so they can come back. A couple more pupils have started re-attending site recently and they have been extremely happy and excited to return.

“The situation has naturally presented a few challenges. As well as new ways of working to adapt to, we need to ensure that the home learning packs are engaging for pupils and also give parents confidence to provide pupils with support – we need to keep learning moving forwards for pupils who are at home. We are also providing telephone support to parents to help manage pupil behaviours, which are intensifying and escalating as lockdown continues.

“Most of the First Base Ipswich staff members have been working onsite supporting pupils, so communicating as a team can be mostly done in person. I have quite a few online meetings and have been staying in touch with remote learning pupils through regular doorstep visits and phone calls.

“The commitment from First Base Ipswich staff throughout the lockdown period has been outstanding – especially working over the Easter holidays to ensure that there was provision for our most vulnerable learners.

“I have also been impressed at how sensibly our pupils have been discussing the pandemic and the understanding they have at such a young age.”

There is a dedicated section on the homepage of the Raedwald Trust website where coronavirus updates are being posted. Visit for the latest information.