Pendle school children making new friends during lockdown

Schools may not be operating as normal at the minute, but for key worker children from Pendle Education Trust’s five academies, this is providing the perfect opportunity to make new friends and learn new skills.

Key worker children from Castercliff Primary Academy, Pendle Primary Academy, Casterton Primary Academy, Colne Primet Academy and West Craven High School are currently being cared for in one hub at Casterton Primary Academy, including through the Easter holidays.

Children and staff from Pendle Education Trust recently spoke to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge about how the closure of schools to most children has provided a unique opportunity for these key worker children to meet new friends and take part in different activities while their parents are working in essential roles.

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Anita Ghidotti, chief executive of Pendle Education Trust, said: “We regularly organise events which bring together children and staff from all of our academies but, day to day, the curriculum takes over and we don’t get the opportunity to collaborate as much as we would like.

Castercliff, Primet and Casterton children

“The current national situation has given us a unique opportunity to do just this and we have loved hearing from our children and staff about how much they are enjoying meeting new people, learning from them and taking part in some fun activities.”

Children have been working together on a range of Easter themed craft activities, taking part in the Joe Wicks PE session each morning, spending time gardening and producing some amazing artwork to thank the NHS.

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Ten year old Harris, a pupil at Castercliff Primary Academy said: “The Duchess of Cambridge asked me if I was enjoying being at school during the Easter holidays and I told her I was because I’ve loved spending time with children from different schools and having fun with them. I hope we will carry on being friends when school goes back to normal.”

Anita Ghidotti added: “It’s been a period of uncertainty for all of us – staff and children – but one real positive to come from it for us a Trust has been the new relationships we’ve seen forming and strengthening each day.

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Castercliff pupil Harris

"Hearing from our children about how excited they are to still come into school to see their new friends is amazing and hopefully providing some much needed reassurance to key worker parents who are under a lot of pressure at the moment. We’d like to say a massive thank you to all the key workers who are doing such an amazing job right now.”