Bellevue’s “Pop Up” Schools
Social distancing guidelines meant that it would have been a challenge for some schools to be able to welcome their pupils back without looking for additional premises. One of our schools, Gateway School in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, was lucky enough to be able to make use of a local farm for the latter part of this term….
With the importance of school children being back in the classroom environment, Neil Dyson, a dairy farmer from Buckinghamshire offered Gateway the use of his purpose built meeting room to enable more children back into a teaching setting, enabling pupils from year groups beyond Reception and Years One and Six back to school soon after halt term.
The former small business centre – turned classroom was built for farmer meetings with scientists and environmental experts and retailers as part of Arla UK 360, the industry leading farm standards programme Neil is part of with the Arla Foods cooperative. Having not been used during coronavirus, there was an opportunity to get more children back into a classroom environment for three weeks before the summer break.
Neil is also a part time teacher, teaching on Thursdays and Fridays whilst caring for his cattle the rest of the time. He comments, “Arla and I had this meeting room spare, having taught my lessons over Zoom during the outbreak I know that so many of the children just wanted to get back into a teaching environment, I’m pleased the school could see the potential and make good use of the space.”
Having been split into two bubble teaching groups an entire year group has returned to lessons with half the year group attending in the morning and half in the afternoon. As well as the large meeting room being adapted, wherever possible lessons also took place outside so the children could enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings of the farm.
Staff members commented that “the children have loved being taught on the farm. It’s been different, but I think its been a really good learning experience for all the children being taught surrounded by nature. It’s also been really good for their well being, just getting them back in a learning environment with their friends. They have adapted really well to the additional measures put in place as a result of Coronavirus.”
A pupil added, “it has been so nice to see my friends again and get back to school. I like having lessons outdoors and being on the farm. We don’t get to see the cows, but we know they are there.”