By headteacher Laura Trelfa
HAVING got through the first lockdown and then having had the autumn term as ‘normal’ in school, going into second lockdown is in many ways tougher for staff and for families.
The first lockdown taught us much about creative ways of teaching and learning and how we could support each other and stay connected despite the restrictions.
The kindness, empathy and love that staff, children and families shared helped carry us through and we need to remember this as we navigate our way through this second lockdown until we are all together again.
Home learning during the first lockdown was encouraged but not mandatory. The Remote Learning Continuity Direction was not law in the first lockdown, but now there is a legal requirement for schools to provide immediate remote learning for any child who cannot attend school and for children to complete it and submit it back for marking and feedback.
At Micklehurst, we have ensured these new ways of learning are in place for our entire school community and staff are working hard to deliver the same learning at home as children are receiving in school.
We are providing high quality remote education, care and support to each other and to our families at home, as well as to the children who are attending school.
I have once again been impressed as to how staff have risen to the challenges that this presents and how parents and carers are supporting their children with their home learning. This is no easy task for teachers or parents and carers.
But no matter how tough it is for us all, for our children it is much tougher. They are in winter and find themselves again missing being part of a whole school community (albeit in bubbles).
As during the first period of lockdown, we continue to focus on further developing our use of technology, both in school and to communicate with those home learning. Through the use of interactive technology, children and staff in school have been able to share these updates with their home learning classmates to ensure everyone stays connected and involved with day-to-day school life.
We are also continually looking for opportunities to make improvements to the school building and grounds while also playing as active a role as we can in our local community at this difficult time.
As part of a project with Mossley Town Team led by Cllr Frank Travis and local historian Rita Vaughan, our Year 5 children took part in a project planting trees in our nature reserve to commemorate those Mossley families who lost more than one son in the World Wars. They also produced a booklet with the names and details of the fallen men, which will be available to view in Mossley Library.
In school, as well as our wall art history timeline, we have installed a huge magnetic world map and map of the UK. When everything is properly back to normal and we are all in school, children will be able to place themselves on the maps to show where they have visited, increasing their understanding of the world and honing their map skills. They will also be able to discuss with friends their aspirations for travel.
No one is entirely sure at this stage how long this second period of lockdown will be. However, as with the first period, I am confident that as a school community, we will all remain strong, focused, resilient and supportive as well as thankful for those in the NHS who are working tirelessly to save lives and keep us safe.