A SCHOOL has set up specialist support teams to help staff, pupils and parents during the coronavirus lockdown.

Maltings Academy says the groups' main objectives are to provide academic support to pupils and boost morale through social media.

The academy remains open for just a handful of children of key workers but is setting homework online for hundreds of its students stuck at home.

The new support groups include a wellbeing team, social media team and academic support team.

They are made up of volunteers and are being led by senior teachers.

Academy head James Forbes said: "During these times of social distancing and not being able to work how we do traditionally, the academy has been proactive in putting together teams of staff who have a passion in these areas. Our staff are crying out for opportunities to do more and play their part to impact positively on our young people’s lives during such a difficult time.

“We have contacted every student in the academy and the wellbeing team will follow that up with regular contact with those who told us they were struggling or feeling overwhelmed. Young people are being asked to adjust and find new ways of working; some have embraced that while others are finding it hard.

“It is the same for our staff. We are being aware of those who are juggling their school role with being a parent at home; we are trying to be mindful of the bigger picture."

He added: “This first couple of weeks of the shutdown have been incredibly intense, with huge changes being made on a daily basis. Things are seeming to plateau a bit now and our staff and students are doing some really exciting things.

“We are mindful everyone needs some time to stop and have some calm to process what has happened and so we have not set any work for the Easter holiday. But, going completely cold turkey would be dangerous in itself. That is why the wellbeing team has put together the wellbeing package to give our families lots of ideas to keep well.

“All of this helps to keep that sense of community. Although we are far apart, we have never been closer than we are right now.”