Coronavirus: The Norfolk school with 15 pupils - and almost as many staff

Alison Mobbs principal at Lynn Grove Academy which has 15 children still in school out of a populati

Alison Mobbs principal at Lynn Grove Academy which has 15 children still in school out of a population of over 1,000 Picture: Lynn Grove - Credit: Archant

In just one day a Norfolk high school has seen its pupil numbers drop by half as the lockdown takes hold.

Following Boris Johnson’s “stay inside” instruction, which sees almost everything in daily life off-limits, more key-worker parents and those whose children are considered vulnerable have pulled them out of school.

At Lynn Grove Academy, part of the Creative Education Trust, it means pupil numbers dropped from around 30 to 15.

On site today (March 24) principal Alison Mobbs said there were almost as many staff as children with three senior managers, three teachers, two learning support assistants as well as admin and catering staff - although they were looking to reduce the numbers.

Overall she said the measures put in place to help children learn remotely were going well.

The 15 children in school were from across all year groups and were being socially distanced.

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The day is still starting in traditional fashion with an assembly, but the main challenge came at lunchtime.

To offset the chance of them getting too close the children were being shown a movie for around half an hour.

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They are being supervised but not taught, using the same online resources to those isolated at home.

The school is sticking to the same time-tabled break time with everyone enjoying a whole-school socially-distanced walk around the field in the sunshine.

Mrs Mobbs said the feedback had been mainly positive with most parents “pleasantly surprised” at how much learning could go on at a distance.

There had been some problems getting online and accessing the systems but Mrs Mobbs said everyone would get used to the new ways of working.

At home children were logging on to their own schedules - one even submitting work at midnight.

She said: “Some parents have said how much their children like working at their own pace.

“It is really early days and goodness knows what this will feel like further down the line.

“This could go on for quite a long time and we are all going to get better at it.

“What is really important is that children establish some sort of routine.”

Great Yarmouth Charter Academy confirmed it was open and had “a few” students in school.

A spokesman for Ormiston Venture Academy in Gorleston and Flegg High Ormiston Academy in Martham said its numbers were “low” and that it was pleased parents were following Government advice.

Schools in Acle and Caister have also been contacted.

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