MANOR Park Primary headteacher Simon Cotterill has thanked staff for their ‘sensational support’ during the most challenging week of his teaching career’.

The school has closed to pupils because of the coronavirus pandemic, although it is open for families of key workers and vulnerable families.

Simon said: “The support that I have had from the staff at Manor Park has been nothing short of sensational. I am so lucky to work with this team, we are all very lucky to have them at our school.

“They have been absolutely amazing supporting the school throughout these difficult times.

“We have also received so much support from parents; either messages via email or kind words on Facebook, it is so important that we all stick together in times like these.

"The one question that I have been asked above all else is -when will we be open? The honest answer is that I do not know.

"What I can say is this; when we are allowed to open, we will open our doors and welcome you all back into school.

“The school is open and will remain open every week, (we will be open for the traditional Easter holidays and half term) until the situation improves to support families with Key workers and any vulnerable families who need support.

“I would also like to thank our families for being so supportive of our school, and also our school governors.

“This week we have provided packed lunches to all families who qualify for free school meals.

"From next week we have set up a voucher system where families will be sent vouchers to spend in various shops via weekly text message.

“All the children that use the reduced provision and all the staff have been taking part in the daily Joe Weeks fitness webcast at 9am.

“Then we have been taking part in various creative activities including drawing, coding and computing.

“The children have been out in the sunshine creating large pieces of playground art, playing chess and draughts.

"Initially we sent home a two-week academic support pack to help families to teach from home.

“We have now updated our website and are encouraging parents to use the individual class pages on the school website to access learning.

“We are still in touch with our parents via our Facebook page and I will continue to send newsletters out for as long as it is possible.

“We plan on challenging our children to a Battle of the Bands Timetable Rockstars competition next week where the children will compete remotely against the staff. My money is on the children!”