Langstone Junior Academy receives award for helping children isolated by the Covid pandemic

A SCHOOL has received an international award after its pupils have been helping children in other parts of Europe which have been worst-hit during the Covid pandemic.

Thursday, 17th December 2020, 2:12 pm
Headteacher Jane Bush (left) and teacher Lyndsey Knight with some of the images and messages of support sent by pupils to children in Covid hotspots across Europe.

During the first wave of the pandemic Year 6 pupils from Langstone Junior Academy sent digital hearts and letters to children from 57 other schools around Europe including Covid hotspots such as northern Italy which at the time was at the centre of the continent’s outbreak.

The heartfelt messages encouraged their international peers to talk about how they felt and not to feel isolated.

The school has now been notified it has received the eTwinning Award from the British Council. The award recognises the best education initiatives from UK schools that enrich learning across the world.

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A pupil from Langstone Junior Academy holds up a message of support.

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After receiving the award the school’s headteacher Jane Bush said: ‘To secure the award is a real honour for our students and teachers. It has brought many benefits to the pupils and families during this difficult time. The children were able to involve their families, work creatively and collaboratively, experiment with other languages, express their thoughts and feelings, but most of all have fun.’

The aim of the initiative, known as the Red Zone project, was to ensure children around the world ‘did not feel on their own’.

Teacher and project lead, Lyndsey Knight, commented: ‘Our aim was to create a safe and happy space in which everyone could share feelings, thoughts, activities, drawings, crafts, songs, games and letters connected with lockdown. Even though isolated from each other, the children were able to connect with lots of new friends from all around the world.’

Judges commended the school on its ‘thoughtful and imaginative use of technology in developing creative solutions’.

They added: ‘Good collaboration between the staff involved structured new learning opportunities for all the students involved. The inclusion of family support and engagement in the students learning is commendable.

‘Student collaboration eased the isolation for all the participants. This is a worthy winning project focused on learning in lockdown.’

The eTwinning programme is a digital initiative by the British Council which links schools across 44 Europeans countries to encourage collaborative learning and education opportunities. Last year it reached more than 80million people across the continent..

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