Breakfast club helps Mansfield schoolchildren catch up after lockdowns

An innovative way of making up for time lost by pupils during Covid lockdowns has been introduced at a Mansfield school.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:30 pm
A teacher guides youngsters at Oak Tree Primary School in Mansfield through one of their favourite books at the breakfast club.

Oak Tree Primary launched a Chatter Books Breakfast Club during the latest half-term, and it has proved to be a big hit among children.

The breakfast club is being run by school staff, who have volunteered their own time.

And it offers youngsters an hour of quality education before the school day starts.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A young member of the new Chatter Books Breakfast Club picks one of her favourites from the school's library.

Head teacher Kate Watson said: “Staff jumped at the chance to enjoy and share their favourite books with pupils.

"The club allows us to shoehorn extra learning into an already jam-packed timetable.

"Our school is fortunate enough to boast an excellent library, and we are delighted with the number of pupils who want to come along.”

The breakfast club costs only £1, or is free for disadvantaged youngsters. Not only do members enjoy some fascinating books, they can also tuck in to a delicious breakfast.

Children’s education has fallen behind badly during the national lockdowns, and Mrs Watson freely admits that all schools are now “on a great drive to catch up on lost learning”.

"It has had a huge impact, but rather than extend our day, or ask people to come back during the holidays, we have altered our approach,” she said.

"We are prioritising reading, and we’d like children to pick up a book because they want to.

"The club is our clever way of making sure they read just because they enjoy it.

"Everyone has volunteered their time – not just teachers but also teaching assistants and office staff.

"It has been brilliant and is making a real difference.”

Vanessa Nutter, the school’s business manager, said: “The club has been a real success so far.

"As Covid restrictions ease, we hope to invite guest readers to come and share their favourite children’s books.

"Also, if any local businesses would like to sponsor the club and provide a breakfast for the children, we hope they will get in touch.”

Meanwhile, the 217-pupil school on Jubilee Way is looking ahead to the new school year, which starts in September.

It still has places available in its nursery and reception class. If any parents would like to book a tour of the school, they should call Mrs Nutter on 01623 458261.