St Giles Primary School Teaching Assistant hailed a lockdown hero
Family Support Worker Louise Pipes, at World Class accredited St Giles Primary School in Derby, is hailed a lockdown hero for going above and beyond during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Louise has been officially recognised by Teaching Personnel; a UK organisation which recently launched a national campaign to identify the unsung heroes who have helped to keep schools functioning over the last few months.
A survey held by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) revealed that, during lockdown, teaching assistants made home visits to pupils to deliver school meals, made check-in calls and assisted with cleaning duties to maintain a safe learning environment for pupils.
Thomas Few, lead teacher at St Giles and the person who nominated Louise, said:
“We’re always proud of our staff at St Giles and, over the past few months, they have gone above and beyond to ensure that our pupils are safe and happy during what has been an unprecedented time. Leaders and staff are committed to doing what works best for families at St Giles and we will continue to be creative about how best to keep our door ‘open’.”
Measures St Giles have put in place since the lockdown in March include:
- Setting up a dedicated mobile number for the school’s NHS nurse
- A link-up to translators to support families where English isn’t their first language
- The provision of ongoing learning resource packs
- Members of staff did supermarket and medication runs who, in the early days of lockdown, were unable to find essentials or access a supermarket
Fiona Hallam, Senior Lead Practitioner, who works closely with Louise, said, “Louise was nominated for playing a key role in this. She’s kind, hard-working and thoroughly deserves the recognition. Louise takes great care in getting to know each child as an individual and always works in their best interests.”
During the lockdown months, teaching assistants played a crucial role in helping to bridge the education gap and were key in supporting teaching staff by keeping morale high. They also had the difficult job of explaining to children why they must socially distance from their classmates.
They have an important role to play post-lockdown, too, ensuring the emotional wellbeing of both teachers and pupils and helping deliver the recovery curriculum put in place by most schools. Louise is just one of the many teaching assistant heroes across the UK.
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