In our next interview with our primary schools about the phased reopening, Ben Jeffery, Headteacher of Glemsford Primary Academy, talks about what...
I write this as we approach an Easter holidays, the like of which we have never experienced.
Some of our schools will remain open to cater for a handful of keyworker children – and I know they all want to do their bit to support others.
This is typical of the ‘above and beyond’ attitude displayed by all our schools during this time of great uncertainty.
It is a situation none of us wanted, but one that has brought out the best in our education sector as staff have put aside their own worries and fears for the good of their pupils.
I would like to praise and congratulate our leaders, teachers and all school staff for quickly understanding how to engage with pupils from as distance using a great deal of imagination.
I would also like to praise the response of students, both at home and also those who have still attended our schools, for their diligence and motivation towards their studies.
In all, we have less than 200 pupils still physically attending one of our 25 schools. We would normally have 11,000.
Some of our schools have no students and others have joined forces within the same building.
More of these ‘hubs’ will follow for schools both within and outside the Unity Schools Partnership. We must all join forces at this time and work together – while always being mindful and adhering to the Government guidelines.
This shows the depth of how education has currently changed. We have all learnt new ways to communicate digitally and we are still learning from each other.
The Easter holidays gives us a chance to take a step back, evaluate what has worked and not worked, and prepare for a return to ‘school’ in whatever that manifests itself during the summer term.
No one really knows how long this situation will last. But all of our schools – secondary, primary or special – will remain at the forefront of supporting our young minds.
As proven in the last week or two, we don’t need a building to engage, enthuse and inspire.
Tim Coulson, Chief Executive, Unity Schools Partnership