Generous donation supported development catch-up for Ashington tots

A generous donation towards books and resources helped early years’ pupils at an Ashington school to play ‘catch up’ in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 8:00 am
Mother’s Union Trustee, Margy Tasker-Brown with Principal, Melanie Hinson and early years pupils from Bishop’s Primary School.

Young learners aged between two and four who attend Bishop’s Primary School’s early years’ facilities received special ‘Story Sacks’ filled with books, educational games and learning resources to enjoy at home thanks to a £2,000 donation from Newcastle Diocese Mother’s Union.

When the pandemic first hit, Mother’s Union members decided to help children's development, especially those in isolated communities or areas of high socio-economic deprivation.

The charity’s Diocesan President, Barbara Packer, said: “Since we are a Church of England organisation, I approached the Diocesan Education Department for advice as to the best way to help children in our Church communities to gain access to educational resources which would support their development in the aftermath of lockdown.

“The department suggested Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust and more specifically, Bishop's Primary School.

"We had already decided that we could afford to give £2,000 and that we would be guided by 'those on the ground' as to the best way to use it.”

School Principal, Melanie Hinson, said: “Staff agreed that it was our early years children whose education had been most affected by the prolonged period of lockdown.

“While our older children have been able to engage in a full programme of remote learning, for our two and three year olds, the lack of interaction with children their own age has seen them return to our early years settings less confident, more anxious and in some cases, less independent than they were before.

“Liaising with Mother’s Union, we agreed that 'Story Sacks' – or something similar – seemed to be a good way in which quite a lot of children could benefit, and receive resources which could be used at home to support their speech and language development, fine motor skills and confidence building among other things.

“The Story Sacks have been really well received by staff, parents and our young learners. We can’t thank Mother’s Union enough for their kind donation.”

For more information, visit www.bishops.ncea.org.uk or to find out more about Mother’s Union, see www.mothersunion.org.