WELLINGTON SCHOOL ACT DURING THE CRISIS

Meanwhile, over at Wellington School, although the doors are closed, the school remains committed to doing everything possible to support the local community. Here are some of the steps which they have taken:

  • Car parks have been given over to overflow patients from the local hospital
  • The Headmaster, Eugene du Toit, is in communication with local hospitals to offer the school’s boarding houses to NHS staff who will be working long shifts or who need to self-isolate. There is also the possibility that certain categories of patients (e.g. those in long-term care, but who don’t have critical medical issues) could use our boarding houses if beds need to be made available to cope with COVID-19 related pressures
  • So far, 55 pairs of goggles and hundreds of surgical gloves have been donated to the procurement department of Musgrove Hospital
  • Children of key workers continue to be looked after by staff, with activity primarily based in the Prep School.

The pupils have a full remote learning programme in place. The timetable is stuck to rigidly, with skype sessions, learning platforms and resources in place to ensure lessons are delivered.

The Headmaster delivered his end-of-term assembly remotely to all the community and reminded them that, “Wellington School is not defined by whether or not we are all in one place at the same time. We are defined by our sense of community, the lengths we go to in supporting one another, our indefatigable spirit in rising to a challenge. We are in this together and we will get through this together.”

WEST BUCKLAND SCHOOL SUPPORT LOCAL MEDICS BY PRODUCING FACE PROTECTION MASKS

West Buckland School’s Design and Technology Department has responded to the urgent need for PPE (personal protection equipment) for key workers in North Devon, by starting to make plastic face masks using the school’s 3-D printer.

In addition, the science departments at the school have donated all the safety goggles and glasses that they currently have in stock, to local doctors’ surgeries in North Devon and the school’s caterers have donated fruit and veg waste to Exmoor Zoo to feed to their animals.

Initially approached by a local GP surgery, the DT team sourced a template for the PPE face masks off the internet and used PLA (polylactide), a biodegradable material which is both suitable to protect medical staff when treating potential Covid-19 patients and can also be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. Production is in full swing and already the school has been able to supply protective masks to North Devon Hospice and South Molton Community Hospital who are both delighted. A spokeswoman from the hospice said: “Thank you so much. This is very thoughtful and innovative of you.”

The school are hoping to continue to produce more masks as long as there is a need. They have begun to co-ordinate a small team of individuals and local companies who own 3-D printers and there are several other companies across the region who are doing similar excellent work, ensuring that as many key workers across the region as possible can receive the vital protection they need.