'New normal' in place as Abbeystead's little school with big heart reopens

Nestled in the heart of the Forest of Bowland on the Duchy of Westminster Estate, Cawthorne’s Endowed School at Abbeystead has faced some tough decisions in recent weeks.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Monday, 31st August 2020, 8:00 am
Cawthorne's Endowed Primary School in Abbeystead.
Cawthorne's Endowed Primary School in Abbeystead.

Like all schools, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the ‘normal’ running of things.

Headteacher Patrick Corbett and his dedicated and dynamic team - with more than 100 years of educational experience between them - made the tough and potentially controversial decision that they would reopen school for all pupils with two family-based ‘bubbles’ in mid-June.

The majority of pupils (including nursery children) returned to school, with those choosing to learn remotely still kept as part of the school family with daily online work and feedback, together with ‘class chats’ and even remote singing assemblies - which continued (with varying degrees of technical success!) throughout the lockdown.

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Youngsters in the playground at Cawthorne's Endowed before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.

“It was lovely to see the children settled, happy, content and learning once again,” said Mr Corbett.

He explained that the focus was very much on the children’s mental health and most importantly, their ‘mental wealth’.

He went on to highlight that his team were very mindful throughout the planning phase, that the return to school-based learning for all, reflected the school’s motto of ‘Veldoce. Veldisce. Veldescede.’ - translated as ‘We teach each other. We learn together. We leave prepared’.

This was never more appropriate than during this global pandemic, where the school family really did come together to learn.

Youngsters at Cawthorne's Endowed before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.

The team is all now looking forward to the new school term beginning this week, welcoming back all children as part of their ‘small school bubble’ of just over 30 children in total, separated into the nursery and infant children and the junior children.

Mr Corbett said staff have planned an exciting and stimulating recovery curriculum, which meets the needs of all of the individuals within the school.

If you would like to experience this for yourselves, you can check in with the Cawthorne’s Facebook page, or give them a call on 01524 791565.

"We are always happy and willing to grow our school family," Mr Corbett added.

Youngsters in the classroom at Cawthorne's Endowed before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.