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Teddy bears show how schools care

Published: Friday, 5th March 2021

Teddies help primary school children during lockdown

Barrowford School pupils with their teds.

Teddy bears have been comforting children for years, so when two Pendle primary schools were looking for something to reassure pupils during lockdown what better gift could there be!



The bears were intended as a comforting hug for all those missing their friends, as well as a reminder that their teachers were missing them.

They were given out to every pupil.

Gisburn Road School, in Barnoldswick, named their gift, the Lockdown Hug Bear.

 “The idea to give out bears wearing a T-shirt with our school logo on came from parents on our Parent Teacher Association,” explained Deputy Head Laura Toor.

 “We have all been missing hugging and social interaction, but children don’t always have the words to express how they feel.

“We thought the bears would remind them how much we still care for them.”

 The teachers hand-delivered the gifts and they and the children both enjoyed a socially distanced catch up on the doorstep.

Activities linked to the bears were carefully planned by the school so they could be done in the classroom or at home.

Weekly Zoom sessions have been taking place, to ensure that children in and out of school could share their news.

And judging from the happy photos posted on the school website, everyone has been enjoying them immensely!

In appreciation for the support parents have given to their children, often juggling home-schooling with work , the school made special additional deliveries of Twinings Moment of Calm tea bags and thank you poems.

“We consider ourselves a family here and these gifts were a way of maintaining that connection,” said Laura, who has been waiting for the whole school to reopen on March 8th.

Over in Barrowford it was ConnecTed who won the hearts of staff and pupils alike.

With some children in school and others being taught at home during lockdown, Head Teacher Rachel Tomlinson felt there was a real need for something that both groups could enjoy and share.

That’s how ConnecTed was born, with every child and teacher at school being given a small bear as well as a bag of crafty items to create things with.

The bag included a QR code linking it to the school’s website and ConnecTed’s Twitter account!

 “We have published details of a daily fun activity using items from the bag all revolving around ConnecTed and asked parents or carers to set aside 10-15 minutes to do these with the children,” said Rachel.

“It’s been a way for them to have something in common with their classmates at school.

 “I’m a mum and I know how easy it is to fall into the trap where it’s all about learning.

 “This has given everyone a chance to stop and have a laugh for 10 minutes,” explained Rachel.

She too has been looking forward to all the children finally being back together again.

“We’ve really missed our children, but it’s been lovely to see all the photographs they have posted on the ConnecTed site,” said Rachel.

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal MBE, Leader of Pendle Council said: “The past year has been tremendously difficult for schools, parents, carers and children, so these two acts of kindness are wonderful to hear about.

“Teachers across Pendle have been working hard for the safe return of children.

"We ask that everyone keeps washing their hands, covering faces and making space to ensure safety for all,” he added.

For the latest guidance and rules on Covid-19 and support available, visit Pendle Council’s website