Stour Academy

Staff go the extra mile to keep schools open

Team work, going the extra mile and community spirit were the buzzwords around seven primary schools in Kent this week.

With the ‘Beast from the East’ hitting Kent on Tuesday, hundreds of schools across the county have closed. But with careful planning and resourcefulness, all seven schools of The Stour Academy Trust have remained open since Monday. Staff continue to display a positive attitude to their journey to work, making arrangements to car share, walk to school and in one instance, even arranging alternative accommodation in order to be able to teach their class.

Teachers and children across the Trust have been able to use the weather as a stimulus for their learning. Children measured the circumference of snow balls, identified animal prints in the snow, wrote snow inspired poetry and descriptive writing, conducted snow science experiments and have had many more snow inspired lessons.

 Snow themed learning from across the Trust

Children also had the opportunity to fulfil another of The Stour Academy Trust’s pledges - playing in the snow! Shared with parents in 2017, the pledges are a commitment by the Trust to provide numerous exciting experiences for children before they leave for secondary school, on top of the topic themed creative curriculum. Children and teachers alike were able to spend their playtime on the snowy school fields with some schools even having snowman building competitions.

Children from Thistle Hill Academy, Minster-on-Sea playing in the snow at playtime


Simon O’Keefe, CEO of the Trust praised the staff who went above and beyond to keep the schools open.

“Staff across all our schools have gone the extra mile this week to ensure minimal disruption to teaching and learning. By providing our children with fantastic snow themed lessons and allowing them to play in the snow during their break times, we have not only given children great experiences but we have also supported their parents. Many of our parents are key workers in other areas of the public sector, providing important services that we all rely on. By keeping our schools open we ensure that these parents can also carry out their vital roles."



Take a look at some of the comments from the parents of our schools:

(my daughter) has had such a fun couple days with her friends and teachers in the snow …

Would like to say a huge well done to all the Teachers and support staff for enabling the school to stay open.

I would like to say thank-you for remaining open

Thank you from a grateful parent 

Fantastic/amazing effort by all the Teachers and support staff for keeping the school open during this testing weather, getting there early to open the school and to ensure it runs as normal as possible, thank you!

(my daughter) has thoroughly enjoyed the snow themed topics and activities xx

I am for one happy that you have remained open... Not only has my son enjoyed his snow days at school and walking to school in the snow.... It has also helped hugely with parents still being able to get into work x

Thank you to all of your staff for being so committed that they have made it in and you have remained open. It has enabled me to continue to work too but also the opportunity for my child to experience playing in the snow with his friends has been lovely! I happened to walk past when they were all in the playground the other day and they were having a fantastic time


With the status of the weather for Friday still unclear, schools in the Trust will continue do their best to remain open.