Sixth Form students reflect on their experiences in lockdown in new book

A group of students from Prior Pursglove College in Guisborough were working towards their A Levels when the pandemic hit last year. They quickly had to adapt to online learning and try to stay on track with their studies.

During that time with almost daily contact via Microsoft Teams with their progress tutor Chris Beadle, an idea was born to pull together their experiences during a pandemic and make them into a book.

The book ‘Lockdown, the experiences of a generation of students from Prior Pursglove College’ is made up of thoughts and observations that reflect the very real difficulties of the last year, together with the resilience, determination, maturity and inventiveness of the coping strategies the students have used in response to this unprecedented situation.

Chris, who is classed as clinically vulnerable spent most of lockdown in isolation still working from home. The almost daily contact with his tutees via Teams helped keep him focussed and involved and was hugely beneficial to his mental well-being.

Progress Tutor at Prior Pursglove College, Chris Beadle said:

“The honesty, resourcefulness, maturity and inventiveness of these students in dealing with this unprecedented pandemic touched me deeply, as did they ways they found to counteract the restrictions of what should have been a socially busy, exciting time of preparation for adulthood.

“As restrictions began to lift, I realised that it would be a tragedy if the experiences of this generation of students was simply passed over and forgotten. Future generations could learn so much from their resilience and so I discussed this with Lesley Currie, a Deputy Faculty Manager at Prior.

“She had the foresight and compassion to agree that we should find a way of marking the events of the last year and was resourceful enough to find sufficient funding to produce the College book.

“The response from the students was magnificent – honest, often raw and sometimes humorous – perfectly demonstrating how remarkable young people are.

“I am proud to have been the conduit of their thoughts and observations, and equally proud to be part of an organisation that shows such respect and compassion towards the young people in their educational care.”

The students involved in the book have recently left the college and will go onto a number of different destinations including university, apprenticeships and the workforce.

A student involved in the book, Tori Swainston said of her time studying at Prior Pursglove College:

“Prior Pursglove College is really the place to go when moving onwards and upwards to achieve your goals and dreams through everything.”

A digital copy of the book can be found here.