It is great to be back in school with everyone and I was certainly just as excited as the children to return. Monday had the ‘start of a school year’ feeling, and it was wonderful to catch up in person with the children and talk about the more positive things that have resulted from virtual learning and lockdown. Refraining from more general questions such as ‘what would you like to do when Lockdown is over?’ and ‘what have you missed?’, I have taken great delight in hearing the news the children have wished to share, their opinions and things they have learnt. It’s also been such a joy to play alongside them and get stuck into different sporting activities. Most of all, it is glorious to have the buzz of excitement back and see them happily interacting and playing with each other - the sounds of children’s voices makes a school, and hearing busy, excited and engaged children in work and play is one of the best sounds in the world! I’ve never been one to close my window to school noise!
Throughout last week different activities were set up by the staff to help the children settle back in and to re-acquaint themselves with all that Brabyns life has to offer. We prioritise pastoral care for the children to help everyone get back and be able to work and play in the best possible way and so many staff have put in extra to help the move back to school to be a seamless transition and as comfortable for everyone as is possible. We have been really pleased to see how the children have coped emotionally and socially. Helping the children, again, access this wider curriculum is so important for their well-being; as important as the core curriculum and academic aspects are. The hidden curriculum and all that goes on in a school is vitally important for everyone’s development.
Whilst inevitably the children will have missed some aspects of the curriculum due to the virtual schooling, and indeed we are offering each child a catch up session with their teacher to touch base and the teacher a chance to check in, I believe that our children have worked incredibly hard over during virtual schooling, with their learning continuing. They also gained extra skills and knowledge that they wouldn't have otherwise.
As ever, my philosophy is to see each situation as an opportunity and a problem to solve - the return to school is the chance to reconnect and carry on friendships and continue to demonstrate their resilience at a time when they are certainly all history makers!
I’m sure the first week back was also a shock to many, and as exciting as it is, there were lots of tired children (and parents?!) from adapting back to routines. We’ll carry on offering all the support the children need and plan for whatever the restrictions allow. We’ve already planned a Brabyns first in making our Junior Production this year into our first ever film! While we have resumed our use of the local facilities including Marple squash Club and all children are having sessions at Brabyns Tennis Club before Easter.
I love to see the children working together collaboratively and supporting each other - such great values that are so important to being successful in anything. Being a great team member for me is one of the most important life skills there is - it is great to see it in such abundance in our children.
As ever I continue to be so proud of the children and all they have achieved and coped with. They really are history makers.
Roll on the next two weeks and beyond.