As the summer holidays officially begin, Portsmouth's school pupils and their families are being invited to say thanks to the teachers and school staff who have supported them throughout lockdown.
With most pupils unable to study in school since March, teachers adapted quickly and have been busy ever since finding new and inventive ways to teach their students at home, as well as supporting vulnerable children and the children of other key workers who have stayed in school.
To show our gratitude, Teach Portsmouth has launched a new campaign asking Portsmouth to say thanks to teachers, support staff and head teachers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the pandemic. Councillor Suzy Horton, cabinet member for children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council told us how important it is to say thanks:
"The city's schools and teachers have been on the front line from the very beginning of the pandemic. The energetic commitment they have shown in this crisis has made a fantastic difference to the welfare and education of Portsmouth's children, young people and their families."Councillor Suzy Horton, Portsmouth City Council, cabinet member for children, families and education
"We want to shine a light on their incredible work in recent months by asking the families they've been supporting to visit the website, share their experiences and say a big thank you."
Councillor Suzy Horton has also recorded a special message for Portsmouth's teachers reflecting on the incredible work that has gone on locally but encouraging others to say thanks too.
Since the start of lockdown, the Portsmouth community has been vocal in their thanks for teachers and have shared their stories with us. We've selected three of our favourite to hopefully inspire you to share your words of gratitude too. Take a look:
"All the staff at Arundel Court have been working so hard to make sure they are still connecting with the children! This video was created to be shared with our school community. Special shout out to Mr Preston for his video editing."Thank you - all the staff at Arundel Court Primary School
"Both my children have been attending school as I'm a key worker feeding children in schools. Mr Payne and his staff has been amazing creating a routine for the children. They have been having fun and have been very creative. This has been valued especially for my son who has ASD and ADHD so routine is essential for him. My Payne has set a daily challenge for my son as they are both massive football fans and have to come up with football related quiz questions each day.Thank you - Mr Payne, head teacher, Medina Primary School, Cosham
"Medina has been amazing. The day before lockdown all the children donated food for the local food bank. Thank you to Mr Payne and all his staff that have kept the school open in this hard time. He is a true inspiration."
"I would like to say thank you to all of the teachers and office staff at St Edmund's Catholic School for all they have done for the students during the pandemic. They have kept in touch with all of the students and their hard work and determination for their online classes has made a real difference. We appreciate you and can't wait to see you in September ❤️"Thank you - Mr Graham, head teacher, St Edmond's Catholic School, Portsmouth
Make a teacher smile by telling us who deserves a special thank you. Whether it's one person or an entire school, we'll share your story on social media. Simply complete our short online form today!