LOCAL HERO: ASHLEY BATES
Local hero: Ashley Bates
Local hero Ashley Bates and his mission to help children carry on with their learning
Teacher Ashley Bates, from Hinchley Wood, cleared out the garden shed, and set up a free virtual school called The Shed School to support parents faced with educating their children at home following school closures. His lessons have proved a huge hit, giving parents some much needed time to catch up with work, and children with a fun way to learn.
“I wanted to help in any way I could and use my skill set to support parents and children during these unprecedented times,” says Ashley. “I converted my unused shed into a usable space to live stream classes daily and began streaming English and Maths classes for children aged between 5-8 years. The Shed School platform quickly grew from a few hundred followers to over seven thousand in just a few weeks and with engagement across the UK and beyond.”
As one parent put it: “I found your page and the kids absolutely loved it. I was able to get some head space to send a couple of work emails, drink hot tea and felt that they were doing something really good. I can’t thank you enough, it saved my sanity!”
Ashley adds: “Seeing the creative and innovative work sent in from children all over the world (I have had messages from children in Europe, America and Australia) has been the most rewarding part of starting The Shed School. I really love doing this and would love others to benefit from it during these challenging times.”
He’s still continuing over the summer, running free daily live lessons to support those children who have missed out on so much school this year.