Monday was an incredibly busy day that started with early notification of Covid cases requiring bubbles to be closed and messages to parents. Having already spent some of the weekend sending communications out to let parents know that the children wouldn’t be at school for the last week of the term, to have to do it for two more classes early on a Monday morning was disappointing (and there’s nobody to blame for that) and not the greatest start to the day.
When there are messages to be sent that would’ve greatly inconvenienced parents with work, it was so heartening to have a number of parents give us some smiles and tell us we are doing a great job – to keep going. One actually made it explicitly clear that he sees us as the fourth emergency service. Despite the nice comments, it is still saddening that many children have to be at home, knowing they’ll miss this week’s Christmas parties, carols and lunch. Christmas is a wonderful time for the children at school. We will have to do something different for them when they return.
Despite the disruptions, it impresses me so much that the children and staff continue to do their very best. The learning continues in the classrooms, catching up as best they can with what they’ve missed during the initial lockdown; all whilst managing the daily disruptions with children, staff and family members needing to isolate. As I understand it attendance at schools is around about 90% at the moment so to have 96% of our children attending is quite remarkable. The staff keep looking at what we can do to improve; ways in which we can keep each other safe; and ways we can use the building as best we can.
Regardless of what tier you’re in at the moment, Covid is still with us and the way some people talked over the summer they maybe thought it wouldn’t be. I really do hope people continue to keep it at the forefront of their minds and do not get complacent or in any way used to Covid being here, that they take chances and put others’ lives at risk. As much as it’s nice to see the children and staff getting on really well, we do need to keep checking that we are following the guidance and not letting tight plans slip in any way. I’m very pleased to say where I am, we are being ultra careful like we were on day one.
As we draw to the close of the term there are still jobs to do to prepare for January. The new extracurricular club timetable is almost ready to publish, albeit it’s very similar due to the constraints of Covid. Having a look at where our school currently is carrying out our self evaluations must continue. If we were to stop planning or looking at what we’re doing, we would not be doing the children justice and arguably it’s in these difficult times they need the routine and familiarity. I am one of those that never dropped the curriculum after key stage two SATs or in the last weeks of the term. I could always see where that happened, the children became restless and started to be disruptive due to the lack of normality. For that reason and the fact we get paid to do a job, will continue as we should to the end.
I do think we’re all a bit tired at the moment after a long and hard term. I know there are many out there that think teachers have an easy life and many of those ill-informed and ignorant people think the overwhelming majority of the profession just want to be away from school with their feet up. I know that certainly is not the case and I’m really pleased the community where I work know that too. Whilst our community knows it, we can carry on working together and doing our best.