This week I have talked about:
TODAY’S TOPIC: What’s going to happen in September?
One of the most difficult things about this situation is our lack of control. As a Headteacher, I am finding this especially difficult because the life of a school is generally very organised. Certain jobs need to be done at specific times of the year.
This half term is usually all about celebration: sports days, Stars of the Year, Year 6 Leavers’ shows, etc. It’s also about transition: helping children to prepare for the next stage of their education. For some; that’s moving onto another school, and for others it’s moving to another classroom with a different teacher.
Behind the scenes, the Senior Leaders and Governors are usually working hard on School Improvement Plans: analysing how well we are performing and what we can do to improve further. Staffing plans are put together, results are analysed to help us to improve performance in Statutory Tests, reports are shared with parents, teachers celebrate a year of hard work with their classes.
This year, we are working on staffing plans without really knowing whether children will be attending in groups of 15 or 30; full or part time. We are not able to send children up to their new classrooms or to meet their new teacher. This will lead some children (and their parents!) feeling anxious about next year, and as a parent myself, I know how horrible it is when your child is dreading going back to school in September. Fear of the unknown is a terrible thing.
So to help with this, we will be releasing information towards the end of June, detailing who the new teachers will be in September. After this, you will receive a video link to our YouTube channel, where your child’s new teacher will introduce themselves and give you and your child some information about what life in their class will be like. Some of the teachers are nervous about this because it’s new and none of us are very relaxed in front of the camera, but we all think it’s important for your children to know who they will be coming back to. You will also receive your child’s report at the end of June.
Having said all this, we are mindful that we don’t know what we will be facing in September. However, we are very much hoping to be open as usual. I know that Covid-19 isn’t going to disappear, and so we will undoubtedly be open but with a greater emphasis on hygiene. I think some things will probably have changed forever.
In positive moments, I try to remember that some of those changes are good. Our use of technology has improved and will benefit children in many ways in the future. The installation of hand sanitisers and emphasis on hand hygiene will enable us all to be healthier. I think that although we have all been separated for so many weeks, we have still managed to keep a sense of community and I am so thankful that we have retained the feeling of being part of the St John’s family. Many schools feel that they have drifted apart from their population, but I feel that we have come closer together, and I am proud to be the Headteacher of such an amazing community of staff, children and their families.
Have a lovely weekend. I’ll give you two days rest from my letters, and I’ll be back next week to update you on how the return to school has gone for Year 6. Please keep them in your prayers.