Dales school staff get surprise afternoon tea

When staff at Askrigg, Bainbridge and West Burton primary schools (BAWB) agreed to stay behind last week to decorate their schools to surprise the children, they too had a surprise.

Unbeknown to them, church and community members, and local businesses, had funded an afternoon tea for them in recognition of the work they have been doing this year, not only in teaching, but also in supporting parents and keeping everyone safe.

Scott Greenway, KS2 teacher, said: “It was a real surprise and it really lifted everyone’s spirits to know that all we have done has been appreciated.”

The children certainly appreciated the overnight transformation as they excitedly entered the schools the following day, commenting on the beautiful trees and decorations.

The churches have also donated resources for classroom Christingle services taking place next week, in the absence of visiting the local churches.

In the summer term the school received nearly 80 per cent of the children back at least one day per week, and continued to provide work online.

“So far, we have kept the staff and children Covid-free, but the stress that this puts on all the staff in all schools is enormous,” said interim headteacher Maxine Price.

“It was just so humbling to be supported by our wonderful churches, community leaders, businesses and communities in this gracious way.”

Eleanor Harrison, co-headteacher, added: “It is a privilege to work in small village schools where we all feel like a family.

“We have arranged for the children to sing carols outside in 3 school villages and outside Sycamore Hall in Bainbridge, next week. Hopefully to give community residents some joy at Christmas, as we are very much rooted in our communities.”

The BAWB Federation said they appreciated the support they had received from the community during the pandemic.