Token of appreciation for school pupils

SCHOOL pupils across Inverclyde have struck gold after being presented with medals to mark a year like no other.

Students finished up for the Christmas holidays with a token of appreciation for their efforts during ‘Our 2020’.

The gold medals are a memento for one of the most extraordinary periods in history, which can be used to mark the sadness or achievements throughout the year.

They are inscribed with some of the buzzwords from 2020 which people are now accustomed to, such as ‘social-distancing, ‘lockdown’, ‘self-isolation’, ‘bubble’, ‘PPE’ and ‘face masks’.

Some 10,000 tokens were given out to every primary and secondary pupil in Inverclyde.

Provost Martin Brennan with 'Our 2020' medals/tokens for Inverclyde school pupils
Provost Martin Brennan with 'Our 2020' medals for Inverclyde school pupils

They were accompanied by a joint letter from Provost Martin Brennan and Councillor Jim Clocherty, the council’s convener of education and communities, thanking the young people for their efforts during the year.

Provost Brennan said: “There’s the old saying about how someone ‘deserves a medal’ for a job well done or for putting up with something.

“So many people this year fall into that category, including our young people.

“It’s easy to forget the effect this pandemic has had on their education and wellbeing.

“Nonetheless, they are made of sterner stuff and got on with it and did the best they could.

“These tokens will can be used in whichever way our young people want, but they will symbolise what they have overcome, achieved and of better times ahead.”

Delighted pupils and their families have been showing off their medals on social media.

It was one of a number of initiatives in schools in the run-up to Christmas to help lift the spirits of pupils and staff and to make up for the loss of traditional nativity performances, carol singing and end of year shows, which all had to be cancelled because of the pandemic.

Primaries took part in ‘Inverclyde Elf Week’, secondaries enjoyed a virtual ‘escape room’ challenge designed by St Columba’s High in Gourock, while students across the district got involved in the ‘Classrooms to Care Homes: Spreading Festive Cheer’ campaign by writing and recording special messages for care home residents to help tackle loneliness and isolation at Christmas.