Sisters Summer, 13, and Paige, 12, live in Lincolnshire with their grandparents Elaine and Terry – a Freemason of over 10 years.
The girls moved in with their grandparents in 2013 when they were four years old, as changes to their parents’ circumstances meant they could no longer care for them.
Like millions of children, Summer and Paige spent much of the last 12 months learning at home as schools across the country closed their doors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
And, like many other parents and carers, Terry and Elaine struggled to afford the unforeseen costs of home learning, so got in touch with us to see if we could help. As well as contributing towards the girls’ day-to-day cost of living, we were able to provide the pair with a digital tablet, meaning they could access online resources, attend virtual lessons, and even continue their dance classes remotely!
Now the girls are back at school, they take us through a day in their lives.
We get up…
“…at 6am, sometimes… but more often it’s 7am!”, says Paige, and Terry laughs. “Summer likes to have crumpets or toast or something like that for breakfast, but I usually have cereal. If I get time, I like to do some drawing, and I use the tablet to find pictures of things like cartoon characters for inspiration,” says Paige.
We go to school…
“…on the bus”, says Summer. “A lot of our friends take the same bus, so we’re able to catch up with them on the 15-minute journey, which is nice because we’re not all in the same classes once we get to school.”
“We have different lessons every day,” Paige explains, “but my favourite lesson to have first is design and technology because you get to do drawings. At the moment, we’re drawing sweets, and learning how to shade them so they look 3D.”
Summer, on the other hand, prefers to start the day off with some sports; “P.E. is my favourite lesson to have first. I’m quite sporty and it helps give me lots of energy so I’m ready for the rest of the day.”
“Very different because of the pandemic. There’s a one-way system in the dining hall, and only one year group at a time can be in there”, explains Paige.
“Yeah, but it means we get longer out on the playground, so it’s actually quite good”, adds Summer. “We also have breaks in between each lesson and when we are walking around inside, we all have to wear masks.”
When we go home…
“…the first thing we do is go and get changed, then we decide what we’ll do that evening”, Summer says. “Homework is a bit different at the moment because of coronavirus, so we don’t have as much as usual, but something I have to do at the moment is to draw anything I want so that I can show the new shading skills I have learned.”
“Having a tablet has really helped us to keep on top of communications from the school – from emails to video calls, we’ve been relying a lot on access to the Internet, so it’s been really useful”, Terry adds. “It’s meant they can get work and feedback from their teachers and that’s helped them to keep up with their education.”
It’s not just school work the girls use their tablet for; Paige and Summer are both keen dancers and have competed at a national level.
“We sometimes use it to do our dance classes on video calls,” explains Paige. “It’s helped us to keep dancing and training, and we like doing that in the evenings. We can’t wait to go back to the studio for face-to-face lessons, though!”
“We’re both hoping for takeaway – that’s our favourite!” says Summer. “We love to have KFC or pizza, so sometimes Grandad and Granny treat us… it’s the best!”
“If there’s time, we do some drawing before bed and we get things ready for school the next day. We’re both looking forward to going to the park with our friends, or having them over for dinner, or going shopping”, says Paige. “Hopefully it’s not long until we can see everyone we want again!”