During the latest lockdown, Habs Girls and Habs Boys have been busy delivering bundles of new laptops and dongles, with pre-loaded internet, to several schools in the community. The initiative has been created by both schools to try to support the rising numbers of families struggling to access learning at home due to poor connectivity and lack of devices.

Schools currently receiving the equipment include the London Academy, Bourne Hill Primary, How Wood Primary, Cowley Hill Primary, Fairfield Junior and St John’s Radlett, to name a few.

Mr Joshua Plotkin, Director of Partnerships across both schools, explained: “One of the key issues many families are facing right now is access to the internet, and with it access to the resources they need for their remote learning. The pre-loaded dongles give students an instant 4G connection: even if there are not enough laptops to go round at the moment, most will have a smartphone, which as a last resort, they will now be able to use for their education without worrying about racking up huge bills. The feedback from the schools has been hugely positive.”

As well as providing a number of Chromebooks and dongles to support home learning, a selection of educational ‘BookyBoxes’ for primary students have also been created – packs containing a great book, ready-made guided reading resources and a fun and relevant activity or toy. These are being delivered to local families in the community to provide additional remote learning support.

Mr Plotkin explains: “The BookyBoxes are a kind of Happy Meal for books. Something that’s packaged this way will always feel more special, and if we can make reading feel special then we might just inspire a child to discover what reading can offer them.”

“We feel a responsibility towards all the children in our community who are struggling to access the learning they are entitled to. The Schools have already told us how much difference these resources and devices will make to those families that are having a hard time. Many told us how they had explored a number of routes to obtain devices, without success, so we are delighted to be able to help in some small way.”