Coronavirus: Harlesden pupils allowed to stay on in school plant tree saplings in the sunshine

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 April 2020

Pupils at Newman Catholic College in Harlesden has remained open for children of key workers. Pictures: Newman Catholic College

Pupils at Newman Catholic College in Harlesden has remained open for children of key workers. Pictures: Newman Catholic College

Newman Catholic College

Pupils at a Harlesden secondary school have been standing apart and planting saplings while the sun shines.

Pictures: Newman Catholic CollegePictures: Newman Catholic College

Newman Catholic College, in Harlesden Road, has remained open for children of key workers while the coronavirus pandemic continues.

A group of year 7 and 8 boys have spent the week doing sports, exercise and planting trees.

They are among 47 children the school is looking after during the Easter holidays and coronavirus lockdown.

Schools in Brent closed on March 20 to most students as the country prepared to go into lockdown to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The government has said that children of key workers, those who have a social worker and those who are looked after by the local authority can remain in school.

John Roche, lay chaplain at the school, wrote on Twitter: #SocialDistanacing #EssentialWorkers children planting the saplings from Tree Appeal in @NCCBrent. Learning outside the class but staying safe. Planting for the future @harlesdengarden. Sci/nature#culturalcapital. ‘From tiny acorns ...’ well done guys.”

Headteacher Daniel Coyle told this paper before lockdown that the school would stay open for designated groups beyond March 23. He said: “We will do everything we can to support our fellow public sector workers who are on front line in this battle.

Newman Catholic College in Harlesden has been open all week for children of key workers and those deemed to be vulnerable

“Each day the pupils arrive in uniform and complete the same on line work as their classmates at home,” he said.

Picture: Newman Catholic CollegePicture: Newman Catholic College

“There is also lots of sport and of course joking. Meals are being cooked by teachers and learning support assistants. Staff are volunteering for duty.

“The school is currently putting a rota together to ensure the school remains open throughout the Easter holidays.”

He added: “The picture shows a group of Year 7 & 8 lads planting trees. Our lay chaplain, Mr (John) Roche is a keen gardener and guided the boys in this wonderful activity. Even in these challenging times the positivity and work ethic of our young people shines brightly. They are our hope for a better future.”

Visit for more about the tree appeal.

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