Now that we have entered a new period of lockdown we find ourselves revisiting and reliving the experiences in March and April.
There were of course many positives within lockdown in terms of connecting with family members and remembering what matters most in life. The move away from material things was particularly powerful.
Arguably the biggest challenge for everyone was the closure of schools. Remote learning was a bolt out of the blue, hitting parents and staff with equal force, and whilst at Grimsdell we developed our provision very quickly to ensure it was varied, rich and rigorous, it was simply not the same as being in school.
Since re-opening fully in September it has been a relief and blessing that our teachers can now deliver education to our pupils face to face and in a classroom setting again. Equally though, it is the social and communal experience of school that is so precious.
This is why when the second lockdown was announced, the staff at Grimsdell and I did a little dance that schools were to remain open.
It is possible to deliver learning remotely (although far from ideal) but it is not possible to recreate the joyful atmosphere that makes our pupils feel they belong and are valued in a place outside of their own families.
In our school are children are able to access a sense of normality and our parents are grateful that their children have this opportunity during a time of challenge, that students in university, for example, do not have at the moment.
It seems an obvious thing to say that schools are important (of course they are!) but their place in society as the heartbeat of stability has perhaps been taken for granted or underrepresented until now.
It is a privilege to be a Head Teacher and to hopefully make a positive contribution, not only to children’s lives, but to the wider ripples that feed into the society. This picture reflects the essence of school.