Whilst the government have mapped out their plan for the coming weeks and the new tier system, perhaps causing a little confusion, it led me to reflect on the situation and the positives that we can take from it; the silver linings.
Firstly, our ability to be flexible, adaptable and roll with the punches, has been strengthened once again this week. In our staff training on Tuesday, we virtually welcomed Kim Wells, Deputy Head at Caterham, who asked us to grade our abilities with technology before and after lockdown out of 10. Regardless of the starting point, everyone had improved; and that’s us, as adults! The pupils have shown an incredible willingness to engage in new initiatives, ways of learning and communicating. I’d be astonished if this generation isn’t a special one when they eventually hit the workforce, with their ability to think differently, to approach scenarios in a new way, and to adapt to ever-shifting situations.
We also learnt to be thankful for what we do have now, rather than wanting what we don’t have. Lockdown has taught the majority of us to be more grateful and fortunate that we still have access to education. Perhaps we’ve all realised that schools serve more of a purpose than we’d ever given credit. It’s a community, a sense of belonging, a centre point to our lives and ground zero for learning all of those critical life skills.
One thing that stuck with me from our workshop with Kim Wells is that the research reassures us not to worry unduly and I thought it would be an interesting thing to share with you. It was proven that, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2011 and the Christchurch Earthquake in 2016, there was no significant detrimental impact to the educational progress of the children who missed out on weeks and months of schooling subsequent to the disasters.
Perhaps the mere fact is that enforced time away from school made everyone truly appreciate what a school can do, and the engagement, enjoyment and learning accelerated once everyone was allowed to return. This is what we are seeing now; happy children excited to get into school each day (especially Wednesday’s for the buzzing team of Year 4s that I queued up for lunch with this week!). For the rest of this term, school has to remain the focus for us all, but let’s also look at it as a huge highlight and embrace the joy it brings. I am looking forward to our Christmas events starting next week and hope you enjoy the festive cheer at home too.
Wishing you a happy and healthy weekend.