Barton Hill Academy have been praised for the way it has engaged and taught its pupils during Lockdown

Some children have been returning to primary school this week, but there is one local academy that has gone to the top of the class for the way it has taught pupils during Lockdown.

Barton Hill Academy in Torquay has made the headlines for its ‘virtual’ teaching methods, engaging with virtually all its children on-line.

Teachers have even delivered lessons nationwide as Barton is part of the large Academies Enterprise Trust.

Torbay MP Kevin Foster has been singing their praises: “They have done a fantastic job engaging with their pupils and in preparing to re-open. I held them up with the Secretary of State and his team as a great example for the work they have done.”

Using social media platforms like Facebook, almost all the pupils and teachers have remained engaged.

In the first week of home learning, 94 per cent of the pupils took part in the online provision, which had to include uploading work and receiving feedback daily from teachers.

Virtual assemblies have been streamed live to families. Children have engaged in regular Google Hangouts with their teaching teams and staff have checked in with every family.

Barton teachers have even found time to deliver 200 food parcels out in the community.

Head teacher Christopher Taylor said: “Our orientation video went viral and went to the Education Secretary’s Team, which the top aid recognised as an example of best practice nationally and was retweeted by Department of Education.”

He added: “From the outset, the staff team have been so incredibly driven to make a difference to our community during this challenging time. I’m proud how every staff member, pupil and parent has engaged with our offer. We are all absolutely committed to ensuring pupils thrive and live a truly remarkable life.”

Deputy head Jim Piper said: “I truly believe the provision has been nothing short of world class. The collective efficacy of the staff means that we aim to be forever changed by the experience and come out of lockdown having learned lessons that will enable us to enhance further the provision the school offers going forward.”