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Welcome back, Michaelmas 2020

Together we are stronger. 

Certainty vs uncertainty.

 

What a roller coaster the past six months has been! Parental support has been unwavering and hugely appreciated.  

Remote learning under lockdown seems so far away and yet the words ‘Google Classroom’ are still raw enough in all of our memories that it still sends a shiver down our spines! I urge us all within the St Peter’s community to please be alert and aware, so that we stay safe and never have to complete another half term (plus) with home learning platforms and online assemblies again! 

And so, we finally ALL reunite together. 

We will be busy over the next few weeks, concentrating on rebuilding those channels of open, transparent and honest communication between pupils, staff and parents.  We will also be building relationships, so that we may all be happy and satisfied with how the children are progressing academically and personally, alongside, of course, monitoring how they are managing things in these strange and uncertain times. A challenge? Yes. A near impossible task? Yes. But, endeavour we will. 

Welcome to my first Teaching and Learning blog of the 2020-2021 academic year. Welcome to all of our new families to our special school, that has the heart of a lion. I write these blogs to try to raise the profile and discussion of all things teaching and learning – my passion. 

I will begin this year’s blog disagreeing with the rhetoric that the global pandemic has brought education to a halt. I do not see this with my own eyes. I only see innovation and progressive thinking. I would like to sow the seed that the sudden and unforeseeable halt in traditional schooling that Covid-19 created could well be an unprecedented opportunity to move education forwards. For good. For the good.

Have we learnt a lot over this period of time? Yes. So, why would we not begin to take our learning – ‘the best bits’ – and begin to redesign elements of our school to further improve provision and the pupils’ experiences in any situation and under any conditions. Our recent inspection report shows that we have an incredibly strong base with which to start any change.  

Let us be excited and united. 

In this time of still great uncertainty there are 10 things I am absolutely certain about: 

  • 1) We, as a whole staff team, cannot express to you how delighted we are to see your children’s faces back onsite again. For everyone in our community, it is good for our wellbeing to be back together and connected. 
  • 2) We, as a whole staff team, are ready and waiting to foster and illustrate your child’s inherent talents and skills in everything that they do. The children are in for a fabulous ride this year. 
  • 3) We, as a whole staff team, are all geared up to enthuse, inspire and motivate your child in whatever way works. Learning can look different for everyone. We are hitting the ground running. 
  • 4) We, as a whole staff team, are prepared to support, nurture and break down learning barriers on behalf of your child this academic year. 
  • 5) We, as a whole staff team, have used the summer to recharge, reflect and replan your child’s year ahead. It is Covid-Secure. It is different to our ‘norm’, but its offerings and experiences are numerous. 
  • 6) We, as a whole staff team, will do everything in our control to ensure your child has the most positive academic and pastoral experiences to ensure maximum progress and development. The site is beautifully refreshed and the classrooms are welcoming and stimulating from Nursery through to Yr 8. 
  • 7) Things will go wrong. 
  • 8) We will get through any difficult times better if we are together.
  • 9)  Everything will be OK,  even if there have been tears this week (and we have seen many inbetween the smiles). Everything will soon feel more settled and routined and ‘normal’. 
  • 10) Your children, upon their return, are really, really seriously noisy!  Gosh – some learning behaviours need to be re-established, I think! The peace, quiet and tranquility of St Peter’s has definitely been shattered. Ruined, some might say; but, I say ‘turn up the volume’.  The laughter, constant chatter and screams of joy are soul filling. I am delighted to belong to this special family again. 

As described in ‘The Power and Joy of Being in the Family of God’:  

Family conveys a sense of belonging. 

Power, love, and self-control. This is the countenance of God’s children. 

God’s church, His family, is to do right by each other, and others. Goodness is the goal. 

God is good, so we, as His children, are to follow His lead. 

St Peter’s – let us together achieve ‘goodness’. 

See you in the mornings and afternoons, with my silly waves and terrible directions. I write this with absolute best wishes for a different and yet nonetheless successful year ahead. 

 

Lucy Ball 

Deputy Head, Teaching and Learning.