'Superstar staff' send pocket sized heart hugs to Mansfield pupils

‘Superstar staff’ at a Mansfield school sent pocket-sized hugs to 465 pupils to show they care through lockdown.

By Dale Spridgeon
Friday, 19th February 2021, 8:47 am

Over the half-term staff at High Oakham Primary School, on Nottingham Road, handcrafted little green felt hearts to send as a surprise to all the children, but also to give a heartfelt boost to those remote learning.

Though the school is closed to most of the pupils during the pandemic, there are around 45% still attending as children of critical workers and/or vulnerable children.

The rest of the pupils have been working from home, with online lessons, assemblies, songs and stories, and unable to see their school friends during the lockdown.

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Youngsters Harry Beck-Collins, aged 7, and Dylan Hutchinson aged 5, pictured get their hearts made by staff at High Oakham Primary School

Headteacher Stephanie Astle said: "The staff decided to make hand-sewn hearts with a poem telling the children to keep it in their pocket to remember that we care about them.

“All the children have received the hearts, but it’s been especially hard for the children remote learning, they can feel left out when they see the other children still in school, we wanted to let them know we care about them.

“A team of amazing superstar staff got designing, sewing, stuffing and delivering these lovely 'pocket hugs' to safely surprise all 465 children. They are green, which is the school colour.

"The project also rolls on from work we have been doing recently as part of children’s mental health week.

Heart felt gesture made by staff for children at High Oakham Primary School

"Our staff have also worked remotely through this lockdown, and they have had to send their own children to school - all still missing their own loved ones and planning and teaching in a way that is both challenging and extremely intense.

"So, at a time when they should have been resting, they chose to make and give out these hearts, and what an amazing response we have had to them."

Written responses to the school from parents include: “What a wonderful thing and the girls love them. Thank you and a big thank you to the staff.

Pocket sized hugs made by staff at High Oakham Primary School

“What a lovely surprise! Such a wonderful and thoughtful gesture that has made us all smile.”

“...put a huge smile on our little girls face! Thank you.”

“How sweet! The children love them so thoughtful of you all, thank you.”