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Teaching and Learning: Home and Away

Another week…another batch of changes (weather included). Is it me or is it hard to find any kind of routine at the moment?! 

But, this newest change we like! The kiddywinks are slowly making their way back to St Peter’s Preparatory School site!  HOORAH!!

Image of St Peter's Preparatory School

In line with our Covid-19 Operating Practices and Risk Assessment policies, we have carefully mapped out our teaching and learning plan for the partial return to school site.  It is heavily based on a common sense approach, following government guidelines and allowing for staff, pupils and parents to choose their own approach to the children’s learning. It allows flexibility for all manner of different circumstances that families find themselves in. Fingers crossed it settles back into a smooth operation.   And, do you know what?  After all that work and worry, we have been just fine. We have been surprised by just how smoothly it has gone. Still some technical hitches to solve and I had messed up Year 2’s story time completely – sorry everyone – but, overall it has worked so far. We still only have small numbers onsite as I write (somewhere in the region of 98 pupils). Next week we will see our numbers grow in other additional year groups, alongside the current pupils already present, totalling around 180 pupils. Growing the numbers slowly has allowed us to be extra cautious in making sure everything within the guidelines is being met and ensuring, above all else, that staff, pupils and parents feel SAFE and confident in each decision made. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we roll out this two-week phase of getting the right balance between onsite and remote learning. It certainly is a balancing act that we have not faced previously as a staff body. 

We are aiming to support ALL the pupils, whether they are completing remote or onsite learning. It should not matter, they will still have the same learning, albeit looking dramatically different.

Different Learners during Covid-19 at St Peter's Preparatory School 

As the latest edition of our school newsletter so beautifully demonstrates,  it IS possible to achieve this balance and we are determined to do it to the best of our abilities. We have communicated the newly tweaked timetables and they appear to have gone down well. We have tried to consider what it will be like for a child continuing with remote learning at home and what it will look like for the children in school. Tutor roles still exist, but now year groups are bubbled differently for different reasons and it has all got a little bit like the spaghetti junction! 

I cannot keep up with all the different methods in which each pupil is accessing their own learning journey – the range is SO varied. I know that I am endlessly impressed with the staff (and now parent) body for their commitment to the children’s education and welfare. You are all so creative, clever and committed to the art of teaching, that is for sure. 

It would be so easy to split St Peter’s into two separate communities now,  and never the twain shall meet for the rest of term. It may even be simpler to draw a large marker line between our different modes of learning, but that doesn’t feel right to me. That does not seem to be St Peter’s way. We say “Upon this rock we shall build”, so let us build together!

St Peter's Preparatory School Motto

We want to keep the St Peter’s community together and make sure that everyone has the opportunity to engage, learn and be a part of something new and exciting, supportive and special. Be brave, that’s what I say! Children are so adaptive and flexible. They have shone throughout this whole period. They have, on the whole, excelled themselves, despite the strangest of times. 

They must wonder what this is all about.  What do their minds process?

Let’s come together to build a bubble around all of them. Let’s build spaces where they can flourish and fulfil their natural and unique talents. Learning can look like ANYTHING. There are no rules to it. Have faith that we are going to stick together through this. St Peter’s is at the end of a phone or webcam when you need us.

 

Lucy Ball 

Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning)