More schools have been sharing what life is like for staff and pupils during the coronavirus emergency.

Just over half of the city's 117 schools have continued to open their doors over the Easter holidays to support vulnerable children, those with the most complex special educational needs and the children of 'critical workers'. 

Meanwhile, every school in the city is working hard to support the vast majority of pupils who are not able to attend during the pandemic, so that they can continue their learning journey.

Among those which have remained open over what should have been the Easter holidays is Loxdale Primary School. Headteacher Patricia Scott said: "Never in my career did I think that we would be facing the situation that we are in right now and I know that everyone is frightened and worried, including the staff who also have families to care for. 

"However, despite these uncertain times there is still lots of fun and laughter inside our school. We have been gardening and creating rainbows, baking cakes, building dens and toasting marshmallows. We all miss our children lots and cannot wait until our school is filled again with the laughter and the hustle and bustle that is our daily life in school. 

"Just like everyone in schools across the country, we are all doing slightly different things at Loxdale Primary right now, from providing childcare online work, school education packs to delivering school meals to some of our families, and we are proud of what we are doing for our children and families.

"Our parents and carers are all doing an amazing job, trying to be super parents, child psychologists as well as fully qualified teachers without any proper training too! We hope that the things we are sending to our parents are helping them to understand what they may want to do with their children at home and providing practical and emotional support wherever we can. 
"One of our mums is a frontline nurse – working tirelessly every day saving lives, not thinking of herself. Recently, when she came to school after a very long night shift, she brought us all a lovely breakfast to say ‘thank you'. We are doing what we can, but it is absolutely nothing compared to what our NHS heroes and heroines, and many other key workers, face daily.”

Dean Coombes, Headteacher at St Matthias School, said: "We are supporting the national drive to stay at home and socially distance, so very few children are in school. 

“Those that are here are enjoying using iPads as well as traditional paper and pen to complete their work, and we're using the sports hall and dance studio for social distance sport, including rounders. 

“We celebrated one of our pupils' birthdays in school with a curry, and we've also donated 140 pairs of high spec glasses from our science department to New Cross Hospital, along with some gloves and other items of personal protective equipment.

"The army of staff working on line and making calls is where the real hard work is going on. We are being sensible and relaxed at the moment – but we will look to ensure all our students are studying as hard as they can after the Easter break."

Rachael Brown, Executive Headteacher at Lawnswood Campus, a group of 3 pupil referral units, said: "I am so very proud of all the Lawnswood staff. We are providing care from 9am to 2pm throughout the holidays, but the typical school day is now very different. Teaching very much depends on the staff availability and the subjects that they teach, and at the moment we are trying to balance the week between English and Maths lessons complimented with Food, Sport and Art.  

"Our children and young people who are at home have set work to complete using various e-learning platforms and paper based work packs. We are also contacting our families regularly to reassure them that we are available to support them. Some of our children require ongoing counselling, and we are providing this via Skype, and we have produced a Wellbeing Guidance and Activities booklet for parents and carers.

"Staff morale is good; everyone is keeping in touch and we are all supporting each other’s mental health and wellbeing. We also have a number of staff working from home because they are self isolating as they or a family member has a underlying health condition, and sadly, some colleagues have lost someone they know to coronavirus so we are supporting them as much as we can.”

She added: "I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our staff for pulling together as a team and continuing to care for and support our children and young people – and a big thank you to the City of Wolverhampton Council for all its support and guidance during this challenging time. All the local schools are supporting one another and there's a real spirit of kindness and collaboration."

More schools will be sharing their stories in the coming days, and Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "The response of all our city's schools to the coronavirus crisis has been exceptional; their work is ensuring our city's children and young people have every opportunity to continue to learn, whether that is in school or at home." 

According to latest figures, 87% of schools in Wolverhampton are now rated either Good or Outstanding. To find out more about education in Wolverhampton, please visit Education and Schools.  

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Advice for everyone - Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind