SCHOOLS in Ryedale are reinventing the curriculum in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the government’s announcement on lockdown, schools and colleges have largely been closed, except for the children of essential workers.

Teachers and staff are supporting students and families by providing the curriculum through conference calls, creative activities and weekly updates on overall wellbeing.

Andrea Hayes, head teacher at Gillamoor Primary School, said: “Parents have been very supportive and have expressed thanks for the work we are doing to help them with home-schooling.

“We call every family weekly to check in and have found that parents are really pleased to speak to us about things that are going well but, perhaps more importantly, if things are not and what our advice is.

“Although we are not sure when we will return to school, we are preparing to support our whole school community in what will be an equally difficult transition back to normality.”

The government is looking at plans on how to safely reopen schools and workplaces once lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) is suggesting a staggered return of pupils, with Year 6s, Year 10s and Year 12s phased in first.

Terrington Hall School’s head teacher Stephen Mulryne said: “As a headmaster, there is one thing that always amazes me about the children that I have the privilege to work with; their adaptability and willingness to try out something new.

“They have taken to their online learning in a way that simply astounds.

“They have mastered new software, strengthened their resolve and moved to a new way of learning with such ease.

“While we live in this time of uncertainty, perhaps we can all look to our children for inspiration.

“Perhaps we can learn from them through their incredible ability to adapt, to change and to continue to find fun and enjoyment in learning despite the huge changes to their lives that school closures have caused.”

Norton College has introduced a recognition culture, by rewarding recognition points, weekly praises and certificates to boost students morale.

“Our students still continue to amaze us by going above and beyond,” said head teacher Dr Simon Carson.

“We have made every effort to ensure all our learners have access to the internet by delivering laptops and IT equipment across our catchment area.

“The pastoral and progress leaders have been working hard to support students, making regular contact through phone calls and emails to ensure all students are happy and safe.

“On a personal note, I want to thank teachers, staff, students and parents for their incredible support.”