In a few days’ time, all children will be able to return to school. We should celebrate what has been achieved by all of you. Throughout this pandemic, despite all the challenges that come with remote learning, the children have carried on being engaged with the curriculum. They have been incredible; we should all recognise this and applaud them for it and I would like to thank all parents and staff for making this happen. Remote learning is tough on everyone, but together you made it work as best it could be.
We are really happy that the children can return to school. But this generation of children is far from 'lost' as the media are trying to portray. I am fed up with the negative rhetoric from politicians, journalists and other people who have never stood in front of a class full of children. Children have not lost the capacity to learn! When children are happy and well, they are like sponges and as resilient as ever. We should not be worrying about 'catching up' but rather about 'recovery' from what has been a difficult period for them. This will take time, but this is what teachers do best. We have a well-resourced school, with highly skilled staff, and we are all dedicated to keep building the children’s self-esteem, knowledge, understanding and skills to prepare them for a successful future. Catch-up plans, tutoring schemes and summer schools are in my opinion quick fixes that will have little impact on the children’s life-long learning or success. I believe the children need quality over quantity; and we will focus on the needs of our pupils.
When everyone returns, our focus will initially be on the children’s wellbeing so that they feel settled, valued, included and happy. We know that when children feel good, they learn better academically. We will allow time and support for the children to re-establish their friendships and relationships with each other and with their teachers. We will take children outside whenever we can and to interesting places further afield as soon as we’re allowed to. We will allow them to play and learn together.
During these times of crisis, the quality of our relationships is what held our school community together: Pupils’ relationships with each other, with their teachers, parents and their children, staff and parents, governors and school etc. We all worked together and helped each other through the challenges. Thank you for your support; the children never stopped learning! Looking ahead, the relationship between school and parents will remain just as important to our children so we can give them the best chance to succeed in every way. I sincerely hope that this is the start of a successful recovery!