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Headteacher Blog

Welcome Back!

Posted on: 11 Mar 2021 by Weston Green School

What a terrific week in school, after such a long wait, finally March 8th had arrived and ‘whoosh’, the buildings were once again filled with the sounds and buzz of children. Excited voices, chattering friends, the wonder of being together and settling back into routines. We had all missed this so much! 

It has been a wonderful feeling to be back together again.

Throughout this week, and in anticipation of our return, we have worked to ensure children have been given the time to settle and to reacquaint themselves with the prospect of seeing their friends, playing with each other, spending time considering how we treat each other as a community and how we learn best. The pastoral care for all children has been prioritised, ensuring children are in the right place to learn both emotionally and socially has been our priority.

This may seem counter to the national chatter around schools needing to ‘catch up’ and fill the inevitable gaps which school closures have caused. However, we see this differently. I took part in a podcast last week with other Headteachers around the Bellevue group of schools, discussing the outcomes of our pupil and parent surveys, but also inevitably reflecting on how these enormously positive results would impact on what the return to school should look like. Every Head on that call aired the same views. Children and schools in our group had worked tremendously hard over this time, learning had continued, and the ‘gaps’ were actually in the opportunities we had now for children to reconnect, to engage with each other, to re-ignite friendships, learn how to join in and be a part of our community again. 

My own children have also returned this week, and their anticipation echoed these sentiments. Being teenagers, they had plenty of opportunities to ‘connect’ with their friends on social media, however, they have been so happy to see their friends in real life, to re-connect physically and to re-socialise again. They had worked diligently and conscientiously at home, but alone. Schools often talk about the ‘hidden’ curriculum, the chances and opportunities that schools can provide beyond the classroom, the friendships, support networks, emotional and cognitive growth that comes from being a part of a wider community. These are the gaps that must be filled first.

After this first exciting week, there will indeed be challenges ahead. No doubt your children will be tired I am sure! Children will need time to re-adjust and rebuild the resilience that a busy school day requires. They will need to adjust to the physical as well as the emotional demands of being in school and we are in no doubt that for some the road ahead may be bumpy. However, that emphasis on pastoral support will remain, with more chances to talk, discuss their feelings and work through anxieties, which will all give time for children to settle, to re-connect and re-establish themselves and their school life.

Our children (and you!) have worked incredibly hard over the last few months and should be so proud of all you have achieved together. As we move forward, it will remain important for us all to take time to re-connect and re-balance our lives and this week has been just the start of these more positive times ahead.

Sarah Evans

Headteacher

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