Killylea Learning Hub tubs

Killylea Learning Hub

We continue with the CSSC series of news stories on schools while they operate in varied and exceptional circumstances. This week we gain an insight into Killylea Learning Hub, courtesy of Pamela Lowry, Principal, Killylea Primary School.

Their journey .....

Killylea Learning Hub grew organically when we accepted a pupil from our village playgroup and one from our Shared Education partner school. We then accepted six pupils when an Armagh school had to close.

After about two weeks we were allocated an EA link officer who helped to co-ordinate requests and offer support which helped to ease the pressure on my own staff. In total we have been supporting up to 30 children including over Easter. We are open at 8am for breakfast club through to 3pm for all pupils.

I am very grateful to the staff from the schools we are supporting including other staff who volunteered to help from settings not involved. We also have a rota of cleaners from two different settings. 

Parents have been very grateful for the provision which allows them to get on with frontline work knowing their children are safe and happy.

We have extensive grounds at Killylea and the children have been growing vegetables, making dens, having a sausage sizzle over our campfire, playing in the mud kitchen and lots of other outdoor activities. 

It us much easier to manage children outside whereas indoors we have to work harder to maintain social distancing and good hand hygiene. 

The children have made new friends and enjoy new experiences including lots of art and craft activities.  

While the future and return to school is uncertain this crisis has taught me not to plan too far ahead for as soon as you think you are sorted, things change again! 

We all have to do what is right- keep safe and protect the NHS and hopefully we will get back to some sort of normality soon. 

Our children discussed what charity they would like to support and they voted on the Armagh Food Bank as they realise local people are finding the situation financially tough.