Creative challenges have helped young people to cope with lockdown.

Year 7 students at Sir Frederick Gibberd College, in Harlow, have been set weekly creative tasks since schools were forced to close to the majority in March due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The school – which opened in September with the one cohort – has ensured students had a variety of activities to tackle which took them away from the computer screen.

Among the creative tasks, students have been challenged to make their own robot from recycled materials, create a piece of art out of toilet roll tubes and make something out of items they were going to throw away.

They also designed posters for Anti Cyber Bullying Week, wrote a speech inspired by Martin Luther King focusing on Black Lives Matter, wrote postcards as part of their Windrush Day studies and took virtual visits to cities and landmarks.

Headteacher Dee Conlon said: “When we set creative tasks, we try to link it to an event, national day or part of the curriculum, so it is never just a random piece of work.

“Our students really enjoy the creative tasks as these give them freedom to put their skills to use. It has not been all about drawing, they have been doing collages, origami, papier-mache; it has been up to them how they create their piece of work. Some have taken on the tasks as a family doing them with parents and/or siblings. So, it has been a nice way for them to work with their families at home, too.

“These tasks take students away from their computer screens and help to develop different skills. They also help them emotionally and psychologically; it’s like them having a hobby and escaping real life for a little bit.”

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