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‘Sad, angry, and confused’ - Pupils react to school closure bombshell

PUBLISHED: 18:20 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 18:21 19 March 2020

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

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

Archant

A head teacher has said pupils coming to terms with the school closure bombshell need to grasp it as an opportunity.

Children arriving at Lynn Grove Academy in Gorleston today (March 19) displayed a full range of emotions including being “sad, angry, and confused” school principal Alison Mobbs said.

And while some would sit on their Xboxs, others would use their time at home to study around subjects and learn a new skill, she added.

“We are in a situation which we have been preparing for for some time, she said.

“We know no more than the general public and we had been drawing up contingency plans to meet the needs of our most vulnerable children.

“We are making preparations to close.

“We do not have many staff off, we have been lucky in that respect, but we do have a lot of children who are self isolating - around 25pc.”

She said pupils would be encouraged to follow their normal timetable and that teachers would be setting work, as well as homework.

However she added the school would have little control over whether students buckled down or not.

Dr Catherine Richards, principal of East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston. Picture: James Bass PhotographyDr Catherine Richards, principal of East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston. Picture: James Bass Photography

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The reaction of pupils was “very mixed” she said.

“What they expected to happen over the next three months is now not going to happen.

“They have got to find a way to turn this into an opportunity.

“Some will spend the time sitting on their Xboxs, some will do some online courses.

“They just need to get into a mindset.

“At the moment they are just digesting a bombshell.”

Regarding children in year 11 taking exams she was awaiting government guidance but stressed that “no child must be disadvantaged.”

“We will do what we can. We are still going to be working but in a different way and we are going to get better at it.

“Nothing is going to be the same at the end of all this.”

Dr Catherine Richards, principal at East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston said she was “overwhelmed and proud” by the response of students and staff to the closure announcement.

She said: “The pupils are sad because they wont be able to show how brilliant they are in exams.

“Our students are doing so well and we have had our highest ever Oxbridge numbers.

“We will absolutely make sure they all get the grades they deserve and get where they want to go.

“It is not their fault they have not been able to show what they are capable of doing.”

Meanwhile, she said students should carry on learning and reading around their subjects.

Time-tabled lessons will go ahead as normal but with teachers in their own homes delivering them via the internet remotely. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced on Wednesday that all schools will close from Friday afternoon for an indefinite period as the government looks to combat the spread of coronavirus.

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