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A specialist Boston school has seen its doors close recently following confirmed cases of COVID-19.

John Fielding Special School, located on Ashlawn Drive, announced over the weekend that it was forced to shut its door to students and staff following an outbreak of COVID-19 within bubbles.

Speaking exclusively to Boston VIBE, headteacher of John Fielding, Richard Gamman said:

“John Fielding School has been fortunate in having no confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst pupils and staff throughout the initial lock down in the Spring and Summer and right through until the end of November. We believe in some part that this was due to good hygiene measures, careful monitoring of symptoms and immediately isolating anyone feeling ill and encouraging them to get tested and the great cooperation with this from all of our families.

Throughout the pandemic we have been preparing for how we would manage a partial or total school closure. With 3 cases being confirmed over the final week-end of November we applied our contact tracing principles and realised that potentially the spread could be across the entire school of just 64 pupils. Consequently, we made the reluctant decision to close and put into place our home learning plans.

Every family already had a home learning pack at home. Teachers have been taking home their computers and resources every night ready for just such an eventuality. Over the weekend families were all informed of the circumstances of our closure and on Monday morningfamilies were contacted to start home learning.

We are a small school for children with complex health and learning needs aged from 4-19. Every child has a unique learning pack and is supported either as part of a very small group or individually. Our creative and resourceful team of Teachers and Teaching Assistants have used lots of video conferencing to support pupils with their learning tasks, opportunities to enjoy singing, story or exercise sessions or to support our great parents in delivering learning. Where video calls have not been possible the old fashioned voice call, texts and emails have enabled us to keep in touch with every family.

We are a close community and our Facebook page has been the hub for our shared activity whilst we can’t be together. Annie Laverty, home school liaison officer, looks after this account where you will be able to see our ‘sign of the day’ videos involving many of our staff and pupils, ‘exercise of the day’ from Thomas Overton, sports apprentice, ‘independence challenge of the day’ coordinated by our careers lead, Lucy Allen and many, many examples of pupils hard at work and links to entertaining and educational resources to enrich the children’s learning experience.

All of this relies on a huge level of commitment from families. We have parents who are juggling jobs, home educating more than one child and completing all of the everyday jobs of running a household. Hats off to every one of these amazing individuals.”

Richard GammanHeadteacher - John Fielding Special School

In September 2021 John Fielding School will be closing its doors for the last time and moving to a brand new site, Boston Endeavour Academy, off Kitwood Road.

The school are currently advertising for staff for the new school. Check out the John Fielding website – www.johnfieldingschool.co.uk,  if you would like to be a part of the fabulous school’s exciting future.