Published: 10:10, 13 November 2020
| Updated: 10:20, 13 November 2020
A primary school has closed its doors for a two week 'circuit-breaker' in an attempt to "bring down" the number of coronavirus cases affecting the school community.
From today (Friday), Thistle Hill Academy in Minster, on Sheppey, which is part of The Stour Academy Trust, will stay shut until Monday, November 30.
The trust said: "With an increasing number of positive cases of Covid-19 in Swale, the decision has been made as a proactive measure to help stop the spread in the local community."
The aim of the temporary closure or 'circuit-breaker', it added, was to "bring down the number of cases affecting the school community, allowing it to re-open fully staffed and with all year group bubbles on site."
During the temporary closure, the trust said children at home will receive regular contact from school staff with early years and key stage one children being provided with home learning packs.
Meanwhile, children in key stage two have each been provided with an Ipad or Chromebook and will be able to access live teaching from home, as lessons will be conducted remotely for the duration of the school closure.
Children who receive free school meals will also be provided with a food hamper, which will be delivered to the children’s homes.
"This decision has not been taken lightly and has been taken in the best interests of the children, parents and staff."
Rachael Howell, CEO of The Stour Academy Trust, said: “I would like to assure our parents that this decision has not been taken lightly and has been taken in the best interests of the children, parents and staff at Thistle Hill Academy.
"After consulting with the Department of Public Health we made the proactive decision to close the school to help stop the spread of Covid-19 in the local community.
"We fully appreciate the disruption this may cause and aim to support our parents and children in any way we can during these challenging times.”
The trust and the school thanked all those in the local community who had been "incredibly supportive" and had volunteered their time to deliver IT equipment, food hampers and resources to families.
Thistle Hill Academy has 320 pupils.