Life in the Covid-19 Lockdown 2020
After the Secretary of State's announcement, it was confirmed that Northampton School for Boys would shut to all students, other than those classed as vulnerable or whose parents are classified as key workers on Monday, March 23rd until further notice...
Students – at school
NSB has stayed open, including Bank Holidays, from 8.00am until 4.00pm for students whose parents are essential key workers at this time. After sanitising hands, students register at reception, order their lunch and move through to the area set up for their learning.
Each student has been allocated a dedicated computer station where they can log on and access their online tasks. Most students in Years 7 and 8 also take time in the morning to read and keep up with their Accelerated Reading programme. Literally dozens of our students at home and in School are now word millionaires! Students work though until about 10.30am when they take a break (socially distant!) in the Quad or on the field. They swap through their subjects / tasks with help from a small team of teachers and support assistants. Work pauses at noon for lunch which is served in the concourse. Students spread themselves across the tables so they sit apart before heading out for some more fresh air - perhaps a game of shadow tag, a walk through the Spinney or just some time to enjoy the sunshine (we've been rather lucky so far with the weather).
In the afternoon, students continue with their online learning and have taken part in some other projects; including the rainbows you can see on display across the front of School, writing letters to local old people's homes, and a paper airplane competition. Some socially distant PE sessions including golf and orienteering have also been introduced!
Dozens of hand washes also take place as students move from one activity to another or from inside to outside or when they get their food. The afternoon ends with a clean up of the areas each student has been working in and around, before heading home.
The Perkin family are a family of key workers. Tom is working in Waitrose in Wootton at the weekend, his brother Joseph (ex-NSB Sixth Form) has carried on working at Waitrose in Kingsthorpe, after working there in the Easter holidays as well as carrying on studying for his degree. Mr Perkin works for Anglian Water on the wastewater side of the business and most importantly Tom’s mum Emma is a midwifery matron at Northampton Hospital caring for mums and ensuring they offer the best service possible to mums with Covid-19 as well as healthy mums and their new borns.
Students – at home
Senior staff and teachers set out with the task to prepare materials to be sent out to students using the AIM system and different families will work around their personal circumstances and set their own schedule. Some A Level classes run according to the timetable and some teaching staff have been doing 1-2-1 calls with students and using Microsoft Teams for class presentations. A lot of work is being submitted by email and online. The Senior Team have continuously sought feedback from parents to support the fine tuning of the work provided in order to make it as manageable and appropriate for each student as possible.
We understand that there are lots of students with parents still working, some from home, and lots with older and younger siblings in the house too and that it may not be feasible to maintain a strict timetable. Teachers and students have been in regular communication to help with Home Learning questions and concerns and we know some have found it incredibly tricky and for others, more straightforward.
“We have settled into a nice routine now. My son knows he has to be up, washed, dressed and had his breakfast and ready to go by 9.00am. If he's feeling a bit tired still he starts off with reading. I normally write up a list of the things he has to do that day, he likes to know what he has to do on each day.
We also try and mix things up a bit so he's not writing all the time, so he might do some English or History then move on to some DT or music or dance.
PE has been fun as well, and we have all done that with him whether it is Joe Wicks or his mile run. He's done circuits in the garden today with Dad.
Feedback from teachers is good and this is a boost when he gets good comments and his Form Tutor is keeping in touch, checking in to make sure he is doing okay.” Wilborn family
Mrs E. De Vito, NSB English teacher has found the BookPenPals scheme particularly useful this term. Her 7 Year class have a book penpal called Kate Mallinder. She sends them postcards every term and the aim is to encourage students to feel engaged with authors and to be inspired by the writing prompts they send. As we are in lockdown Kate was kind enough to send our students a video instead of a postcard and answer questions they sent: Click Here
Year 8 student Isaac Kelly submitted a poem to his teacher for the Citizenship poetry competition. He has clearly worked hard on this and feel it is fantastic example of Home Learning.
2020 started off great I turned 13 and couldn’t wait!
2020 what a year it became, it was boring and it was very lame.
2020 Making us live in fear, family around me shedding a tear.
For now, the world has changed, and more than ever we must stay connected,
As all of our lives have been heavily affected.
Thank you to the keyworkers who are running the wires in the house,
Now I can talk to my Great Nan through a Keyboard, screen and mouse!
Football is pretty much family to me, but for now I’ve been disconnected,
The times we were together on the pitches have been neglected!
So I’ve been outside spending hours doing drills,
Making sure when I play next I have kept all my skills!
Number 2 on my list something I have heavily missed and really relish,
Is me spending my weekends and evenings catching very big Fish!
I decided to keep connected with fishing at home,
So I created my very own YouTube channel for everyone to share and roam.
In 2020 let me say to all the Keyworkers, thank you for what you are doing,
Please stay safe, stay connected and thanks for carrying on pursuing.
To everyone missing your family and friends it won’t be too long,
We WILL be together where we all belong.
To all my family and friends out there,
Stay healthy and safe and please take Care.
And now for something completely different…
Year 7 student Rhys Bandey has been helping to fundraise for the East Midlands Ambulance Service along with his Rugby Club BBOB. He has done a ‘Brave The Shave’ and they have currently raised £7225 at the time of writing! Before and after pictures:
Year 7 student Sam Stainer took part in lots of virtual Scouting activities as part of his Scouting group 1st Collingtree & Milton Malsor. During lockdown he took part in the #CampatHome world record breaking virtual camp! He lit a camp fire and spend a night out camping in the garden (even though it was raining).
Year 11 student Jonathon Robin with his siblings, has used this time to make some short films on YouTube. They look like they were a lot of fun to make!
On the first day of lockdown from school and before the main lockdown, Year 7 student Max Johnson wrote a letter to people who were living on their own on his street to offer help as he knew they might struggle. As he was posting them with his family, he came across an elderly man who had fallen and hit his head quite badly on the pavement. While his mother stayed with the man, Max phoned the emergency services, answered their questions and waited for the ambulance to arrive. He went to get help from other neighbours and was mature level headed and incredibly helpful. The man was ok and was taken to hospital. His family are very proud of Max, for not only going out of his way to help his community but helping in an emergency situation in a calm and controlled manner.
Mr Niall Diggin contacted us to thank NSB for donating the face shields, made by DT Teacher Mr Samples, to his work place. It was actually his son, George Diggin's idea to ask!
"The Head master and Head of DT have been fantastic and have helped protect our staff who are very grateful to NSB for helping out at this difficult time! I wouldn’t have thought to ask if George hadn’t prompted me!!"
Year 11 student Jack Shinton and his father have so far raised almost £600 for Thomley as part of the 2.6 Challenge. Thomley is a place for people of all abilities and disabilities. The National 2.6 Challenge is a simple and fun way for everyone to do their bit to help save the UKs charities.
"We cycled 32.5 miles all together in glorious sunshine and beautiful countryside; we count ourselves very fortunate to have been able to do this challenge. The total donations raised so far for Thomley is over £15,000, overwhelming generosity."
When resting, Jack is currently designing and building a dog house out of reclaimed wood for their border terrier “Tallulah”!
People can still donate, just go to their Just Giving Page: Click Here
The first column.
The second column.
Year 7 student Matthew Wardell donated to the NHS Heroes by running 5K and taking part in the 2.6 Challenge for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, a UK Youth Sports Charity.
He did 26 back flips on the trampoline. Didn't get that on video but did get his attempt to back flip a football out of the trampoline and into a bucket!
"Our sons, Ollie (Year 12) and Kieran Mann(Year 10), have been getting on with their studying as best they can but on top of that have then learnt so much more than they otherwise would have done: painting fences, cutting grass, house work, walking the fields around the village, staining outdoor furniture, to name a few of them.
As parents we have engaged with them to teach them these things as well as learning more about the school work they are doing. Plus of course we have been doing jigsaws, Zoom and WhatsApp get-togethers and even started to teach Ollie to drive from scratch, that’s been an interesting challenge!
They can’t wait to get back to school and normal routine and we think the school have done really well to minimise the disruption to their school education - however I think they will also benefit from everything new that they have learnt, as a result of this crisis."
Leigh & Amanda Mann
"My son, Thomas Ritchings (Year 8) took part in a challenge set by his rugby club (Wellingborough Rugby Club) in May. He, and his team mates, were tasked with running 5km as quickly as they could with the final times being announced on the 31st May.
Thomas won the challenge by running 5km in 18 minutes and 22 seconds, which is an amazing achievement especially for someone who does not normally enjoy running!"
Mrs E. Ritchings
"I work for C2C Social Action and we run the women's centre in town. C2C Social Action is a Northamptonshire based Christian Charity that offers practical and pastoral support to offenders, helping them turn away from crime.
My sons Isaac, Oscar and Elliot Sallis have been an enormous help, taking it in turns, sorting and delivering weekly food parcels with me to vulnerable women since we've had to close the centre due to the pandemic.
This entails collecting many shopping bags full of tins and other provisions, bringing them to the centre to sort and then putting them back in the car ready to deliver. So far we've made nearly 100 deliveries.
To comply with social distancing, when we deliver, the boys are putting the bags on the recipient's drive and they get back in the car and I then have a chat with the women to check everything is ok and whether any further support is needed.
Isaac and Oscar are current pupils and Elliot is a former pupil. I really would struggle to do this without them." Annabel Pickering
"Following the email we received about good news stories my son Sebastian Warriner (Year 11) put together the video below dedicated to all the local heroes of Northampton. My friends and I recorded the song and then Seb spent days splitting, arranging and layering the voices line by line and then adding the pictures. Just thought I would share and give him a shout out for all his hard work." Lisa Warriner
It is our hope that this period has strengthened the relationship between the community and the school. We've seen parents deeply value the work that is being set for the students and the support available to help them do it. Equally the school is valuing the work the parents are doing to support the education of their children, doing the best they can in the different situations they are in.
In the words of Isaac Kelly in Year 8:
"We WILL be together where we all belong.
To all my family and friends out there,
Stay healthy and safe and please take Care."