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West Berkshire school offering free lessons for disadvantaged pupils

Brockhurst & Marlston wants to help those on free school meals whose education has been disrupted by coronavirus

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

West Berkshire school offering free virtual lessons for disadvantaged pupils

A WEST Berkshire school has found a groundbreaking way of helping disadvantaged children whose education has been impacted and disrupted due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Hermitage-based independent prep school Brockhurst & Marlston House is offering free online lessons throughout the summer holidays to children in Years 3 to 6 who receive free school meals.

The online lessons will be available throughout July and August as part of the school’s World Class initiative.

Lessons follow the national curriculum and are broadcast live from classrooms in a school where teachers have access to the latest equipment.

There will be up to six weeks of lessons in English, mathematics, science and geography.

All lessons will be recorded to a cloud catch-up library so they can be accessed at any time – meaning children can learn wherever they are and work at their own pace and level.

The lessons are designed to be watched on any device and pupils will not need fast broadband to access them.

Headteacher David Fleming said that children play an active role in lessons by asking questions and interacting, which he says makes it “much more engaging and stimulating”.

In addition, Brockhurst and Marlston House will also offer free live weekly online classes with teachers in each subject to answer questions. 

The school is using its own teachers, but is also appealing to any local teachers who might like to volunteer to support this project to get in touch.

Mr Fleming, who has been at the school for more than 20 years, said: “We are hoping to make a real difference to a generation of children who risk having their lives permanently disadvantaged by the Covid-19 lockdown, using our world-class platform.

“We are looking for partners to try to ensure no child need miss out on this opportunity because they don’t have access to a suitable device. 

“We are also appealing for voluntary support from teachers who are able give up an hour or two a week to work with us to support these vulnerable children.”

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