Mystery benefactor helps children back to class after lockdown layoff

Children and teachers in classroom setting

The Ellacombe children and their special packs - Credit: Submitted

Helping children get used to being back at school after the lockdown layoff has been given a boost at a Torquay school thanks to a mystery benefactor. 

Ellacombe Church of England Academy, a part of the Learning Academy Partnership, have received a generous donation from a former pupil which has been used to help provide pupils with mindfulness and emotional wellbeing activity packs.  But who the former pupil is remains a mystery. 

Pupils and teacher in classroom

Who is school's mystery donor - Credit: Submitted

Using the donation and funding matched by the school, pupils have had an additional support mechanism to assist them with the long-awaited return to school. 
The activity packs will help them develop mindfulness techniques including mindfulness colouring books, doodle books, colouring pencils and a welcome back pencil case with handwritten personalised messages from their teachers.  

The colouring books and pencils help pupils take time out for themselves and learn how to create space when they need to – which is vital, especially during this difficult and sometimes overwhelming transition from remote learning to being back in the classroom. The notes from teachers show pupils that they are valued and cared for within the school community. 
The teachers and staff at Ellacombe have worked closely with the families of pupils over the past year to ensure they remained connected to the school community. Even when school has been closed to most pupils, families have shared beautiful pictures of nature walks, numerous craft activities, baking and science experiments, which in turn have been shared with classmates to keep the connection with their peers. 

Teacher and pupils outside classroom

Glad to be back in class - Credit: Submitted

Head Mrs Semmens said: “I would like to thank the donor for the wonderful gift to the school, we were overwhelmed by the generosity and good will of it. The emotional strength that a child feels just knowing they have been thought of and missed is so beneficial to their wellbeing and that is why we have decided to use the kind donation to put towards the purchase of a welcome back gift for our children.”