For a second time, schools remain shut to the majority of pupils and we must move our learning online.
And yet this time it already feels different. Back in March 2020, we all had to learn together, and fast, how to run school remotely. Teachers became students and after a crash course in using our new technology, they put their new skills to the test. Just like our pupils, the teachers learnt fast and made excellent progress.
The children also had much to adjust to. Not only did they continue to follow their timetabled curricula, they also had to do so in a very different way. ‘Mic off, camera on’ went from being an instruction requiring thought to a reflex reaction. From Reception upward, the children got the hang of online class behaviour and routines. They aced it.
So this time round, the learning curve is not quite so steep. The trajectory for online learning is still upward, but we start from a higher point on that curve. Instead of anxiety, we have teachers, pupils and parents who are confident in what we will be doing and even a little excited to see what fun we can have using the technology at our fingertips.
The overwhelming number of emails wishing the teachers luck and expressing confidence in what is to come has helped to reinforce that message, and there is a palpable determination among the teachers to keep finding ways to make online learning innovative and fun.
We also begin this lockdown with a much busier school. Our Pre-School children are here and learning in person. This morning, I joined their music lesson and am pretty sure they used their percussion to follow a rhythm better than I did. Our children of Critical Workers, who we are so pleased to support, are in school in significantly greater numbers, so there is a noise and energy that keep all of us buoyed up while we are here.
Would we rather have the children here with us in school? Of course. But while staying at home is helping to keep wider society safe, let’s make sure we have the best experience we can. On the last day of the Michaelmas Term, we agreed LPH’s New Year’s Resolution would be ‘new year, new hope’. We haven’t got the start to the Spring Term that we hoped for, but our positivity remains unabated. Our hopes for 2021 are high.