We finally made it… the end of term! The truth is, like everyone else, I’m on my knees: tired, fed up, grumpy and desperate for a break.
This school year has certainly been full of contradictions, a mind-bending rollercoaster of emotions. Yes, there have been many terrible negatives – COVID, lockdown, a sickening death rate, lost learning, ever-increasing attainment gaps – but this isn’t how I’ll choose to remember the year. I’m going to focus on the positives, and in particular, the remarkable response to the crisis I’ve seen from the teaching profession (alongside all the other key workers in this country and around the world).
In the blink of an eye, we adapted our teaching methods and styles to ensure all our children were included, regardless of their individual situations. We created a safe, warm environment for key worker and vulnerable children. We fought to have food provided to the neediest families in our school communities. We kept in contact with our children and families. When more children returned, we welcomed them with big smiles and virtual hugs. We let them talk, draw and discuss their experiences, providing love and safety within our school walls. We replaced traditional end-of-term rituals with alternative celebrations, sending our children off into their futures full of confidence and belief.
I don’t know what September will bring, but I do know that we will come back refreshed and ready to give our children the best opportunities we can. Not through a narrow catch-up curriculum, but through a broad and interesting one where the children have the chance to ask questions, make links to the world around them and maybe even have a little bit of light-hearted fun.
Whatever you are doing over the summer, we hope you’ll be able to enjoy your time at home, relax with your loved ones and unwind with no thought of school (for a few days at least).