With the development of our Instagram account, a more up to date record of what has been happening at school is available there but I would like to give a summary of this term’s events.
Despite the massive impact that Covid 19 has had upon our lives and our school, I am extremely proud of the way that every member of our school community has risen to the many challenges we have faced. I have said this on a regular basis in our online assemblies, but the children have been absolutely fantastic and I would like to congratulate each and every one of you for your efforts.
Parents, too, have done an amazing job balancing the challenges of working from home and supporting children in their education; I am also extremely grateful to the teachers whom I believe have really risen to the challenges presented by online learning. I do not think any of us ever thought we would be Youtubers, but it just demonstrates that the growth mindset isn’t just relevant to children!
From all situations we must look to take positives and, whist computing is very much a strength at West Lodge, the children have also really developed their ICT skills. These are skills that will be beneficial for many years and as a school we also now have our VLE, Chamillo, which we can use to support homework in the future. Having Year 1 children who can use One Drive is simply fantastic and I cannot imagine how advanced these children’s computing skills will be when they are in Year 6!
One other aspect of the children’s learning that has really impressed me has been the children’s confidence in front of camera. Many wonderfully creative videos have been produced and the children speak so clearly, eloquently and confidently. These are life skills that are truly invaluable.
Despite the school closure I can confidently say that through the collective efforts of staff, children and parents, educational continuity has been maintained. Remote learning is obviously nothing like the children being in school and for that reason it was such a priority for us to welcome the children back into school at the earliest opportunity, once it was safe to do so with the cleaning and safety measures in place.
It was great that the vast majority of children returned and, although the groups are smaller, having all year groups back from the 15th June has meant some sense of normality has been achieved. With virtually all of year 5 and 6 returning on the 1st June we have been able to ensure that out leavers have enjoyed their final half-term at West Lodge, celebrating their achievements with an outdoor leavers’ event. Following negotiation with our insurers, Year 5, too, have benefited from returning to school early and, whilst we pride ourselves upon the broad and balanced curriculum, the additional time for exam preparation at the start of Year 6 has proved most beneficial. However, the most important factor has been seeing the children embracing the opportunities and universally enjoying seeing their friends. This has certainly been my highlight of the term – schools need children! Quite simply walking past Year 1 and 2, hearing the chatter of active learning puts a spring in the step of any headteacher.
The beautiful weather has been a blessing and Mr McCabe’s creative thinking in planning lunchtime activities which facilitate social distancing, along with the cleaning of equipment, the children have also been able to make the most of their staggered breaks.
Well done to everyone for their collective efforts this term and we look forward to September.
Table tennis – the perfect game for social distancing & Great to see these happy smiles after a first day back at school.