Parents thank school for going 'above and beyond' to include children who had to shield for over a year

Oaklands Primary School

Parents of two children at Oaklands have expressed their gratitude for staff at Oaklands Primary School - Credit: Rimona Rattan

Parents of two children who attend Oaklands Primary school in Welwyn have praised the staff for their care and efforts making sure their children didn't feel left out while shielding.

Rimona and Parm Rattan had to home school their children since in March 2020 as they have underlying health issues and were not able to go back to school until the beginning of last week, April 12.

Oaklands Primary School

Oaklands Primary School is based in Welwyn - Credit: Google Maps

When all the schools went into lockdown last March it was hard for all parents, children and school staff as learning had to be done at home.

But Rimona and Parm said the school was 'on the ball' from the beginning with home school lessons readily available.

However in the September term when many children went back to school, Vinnie and Dylan still had to stay at home and shield for medical reasons.

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The school supplied both children with a laptop each so that they could work from home and any other equipment or materials needed.

Home school

Dylan with a den he built as part of his work - Credit: Rimona Rattan

Rimona said: "They called us weekly to make sure the children were ok with regards to mental health and wellbeing.  They offered for the boys to come up to the school at break times, socially distanced, as and when to see their school friends and did a weekly class call so that the children did not feel left out. They were brilliant."

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Then after Christmas all the schools went into lockdown until after the February half term when the children all went back to school, but again the Rattan children remained at home.

"Our worry now was that there would be no more live lessons and we would have to go back to juggling home schooling and working from home," Rimona said. "I spoke to the headteacher Mrs Pettit with my concerns and she reassured me that the live lessons would continue for the boys so that they didn’t miss out, which they did.  I was so pleased at how the whole situation was handled."

Due to the majority of people now being vaccinated Great Ormond Street Hospital has advised that there it was now safe for the boys to return to school.

"We took them back on Monday and we were so overwhelmed by the response from the staff and children on the boys return," added Rimona.


Vinnie working on his laptop lent to him by the school - Credit: Rimona Rattan

"As Vinnie walked into class all we heard was a roar and screams of joy from the children of happiness and clapping.  It was so beautiful to hear and see that the boys were truly missed.

"When we went up to the office to hand back the equipment the office staff had tears in their eyes. It is such a beautiful school and we felt so loved and cannot thank Oaklands enough."

Julie Petitt, headteacher at Oaklands Primary School, said: "The past year has been exceptionally difficult for many of the families across Welwyn and Hatfield and especially for children who have needed to shield for longer periods of time.

"School staff in the area have worked tirelessly to provide remote education and wellbeing support, ever mindful that home learning is so far removed from the normality of the sociable school day.

"At Oaklands, I'm proud to lead an exceptional team who continue to amaze me by going above and beyond for every child. Now that all of our children have returned, we are looking forward to a summer of fun learning and to embracing the community ethos that we have always been so proud of."

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