Posted in Education, teacher

Teaching in a pandemic is like…

It’s approaching 10pm on a school night. I’m sleepy and have been working/marking mock SATs since 7pm. So naturally, I’ve decided to blog for the first time since August! I think I’ve felt the urge since I was approached by Innovate my School to write a post for their blog so I have a bit of the writing bug.

How’s it going at my new school you ask? Well, teaching in a pandemic is like that old saying – it’s as easy and routine as riding a bike, except the bike is on fire, and everything is on fire, and the floor is spiders (I added the spider bit in).

I love my new school. The staff are lovely and the SLT support is wonderful. My class are… colourful and interesting. They’re certainly keeping me on my toes but I love them already. It’s odd starting a new school as a relatively experienced teacher. The last time I was in a similar position, all I had to worry about was the teaching. Now, I have teaching as well as leading English AND leading an OU Reading for Pleasure project (both of which I adore and enjoy so much, they’re just huge responsibilities.) This just means that I have no time. Time is a mere illusion demonstrated by clocks and dictated by light and dark. Time stops for no teacher. So it’s a bit hectic trying to stay on top of everything. I’m starting to think that things will never go back to how they were pre-COVID. All this extra hand washing and distancing etc. we’re doing – how will we ever be able to say, “No, you don’t need to wash your hands as much, it’s okay.” I can’t see a way to go back from being so hyper-hygienic and cautious of germs and personal space.

The biggest win for me out of all this social distancing will always be the fact that food delivery people now just leave the food on your doorstep and walk away – no more socially awkward exchanges for me! I can cope with no future personal space invasions if I’m honest.

Anyway, I digress. I guess I just wanted to chat for a wee while. My Apple Watch says I’ve achieved 16/12 stand hours – perhaps I should surrender to sleep now.

Posted in Education, teacher, teaching, wellbeing

Brain Dump.

It’s the penultimate Sunday night before school starts again. It’s been a funny old summer and really has just felt like I’ve waited to go back to school. 6 weeks has flown by and this week is time to get back into work mode. There’s a few different things I need to do this week so I’ve come here to get it out of my brain and into one place.

  • Go into school and prepare resource packs for each child
  • Find missing chairs for the children
  • Plan the first few days PSHE – class culture, mental wellbeing and support etc.
  • Map out the first half term of English
  • Plan the first few English lessons
  • Map out the first half term of maths
  • Plan the first few maths lessons
  • Read up on the Ark Curriculum+ Year 6 units for background knowledge
  • Re-read the end of KS2 expectations
  • Read over the most recent DfE guidance for the return to school
  • Re-read KCSIE and the school Safeguarding policy
  • Go over notes for any SEND children and plan for their first few days
  • Create/find initial display resources and put up in classroom
  • Check school clothes and buy some more long sleeved dresses/tops (long sleeves hide the tattoos – Dangerous Minds)
  • Enter important dates etc. into TPTC planner
  • Buy laptop bag for new school laptop
  • Continue with ‘Reading Reconsidered’
  • Get 2020-21 appraisal docs from head and populate my parts
  • Sign contracts with school manager
  • Go over English subject development plan
  • Continue with ‘Teach Like a Champion’
  • Spend some time getting used to using the classroom desktop and Google Drive to access resources
  • Handover of class Twitter/Google Classroom etc.
  • Make contact with children via GC and signpost parents to back to school support
  • Email housing developers to arrange viewing of show home and look around the plastered 3 bed home we’ll be having in the winter
  • Update budget spreadsheet once paid and organise funds for the month
  • Get petrol ASAP
  • Make time to pick BSL course from lockdown back up
  • Make time also to read over any CPD notes taken from lockdown to refresh memory
  • Take a moment to look over upcoming birthdays and arrange cards/gifts/money

That’s probably not even everything! However, must remember to take it one day at a time! Tomorrow is Monday – wake up, go to the gym, come home, get changed, get petrol on the way to school, sort anything for the children tomorrow – that’s the priority.

I think I’ll browse the internet for KCSIE and the latest DfE guidance, that should induce sleep at least! (the DfE guidance, not KCSIE!)

Posted in Education, teacher, teaching, wellbeing

The impending new school year…

I appear to have a touch of insomnia tonight, and I can only put it down to the beginning of pre-school year jitters. I didn’t nap today and I’ve even had painkillers with drowsy side effects, yet my eyes are like saucers and no amount of calming piano on Alexa is getting me sleepy.

Admittedly I’ve felt a bit lost at times over the holidays. I think leaving one school, my first school, and starting another during this pandemic has been an odd experience – nothing happened in the usual manner and it’s felt more like I’ve slipped out the back door unnoticed. Not that I’m missing the dreadful awkwardness that would have been getting called in front of a whole school assembly to receive a leaving gift and inevitably give a short speech and farewell! That would have been the height of my anxiety thus far in 2020 if it had gone ahead.

I was eagerly awaiting more information from my new school. I wanted all the details, I wanted to start to plan, but it’s only in the last week that I’ve gotten a work laptop and access to the planning and timetable for autumn, so I’ve been in limbo until now. I mean, it’s probably a good thing, I’d have most likely worked all summer if I could have. However, I still haven’t felt like I’ve had a break. I wonder if all those lucky enough to usually go abroad for 2 weeks have found the same? It’s like that is the peak of the summer holidays and without it, it sort of feels like you’re just waiting to go back to work.

Anyway, since my mind won’t hush itself for me to get some sleep, I’ve been surrendering to listening to its thoughts. Those are mainly of my new class. I’ll have 26 children, but 1 is a full time integrated resource child, so I’ll only have 25 in my class – that’s a weird thought, I’m used to 30! Almost a third of my children have SEND needs, so I’ve spent a lot of time reading up on them and thinking about how best to provide for them. I’ve had information today about the timetables and how I can structure the first week, so now I’m thinking about those crucial first few days. I want to have a really positive focus, I’m thinking of some sort of ‘happiness and positivity project’ where we use lots of different mediums to explore what this looks like in school and in life, with lots of work on SEMH and creating an open and loving culture where they feel like they can talk to each other and me. After all, I’m totally new to them as well!

It’s scary moving on to new colleagues too. At my previous school I’d gotten to a point where I had a solid little group of work mates, ranging from the building supervisor to the deputy head. I liked having friendships with not only teachers, but admin, learning support, SLT and caretakers. It seemed to give me some sort of balance and it was difficult to let that go. Luckily, I’m seeing said group this Friday for my leaving do. I must say, despite the additional effort, I do love the notion of having to book tables in advance for 2 hour slots. We have the whole night planned and I can wear heels fearlessly knowing we have a table and seats at every bar! I guess I’m just also having the ‘making new friends’ jitters, I think it’s harder as adults, especially in professional settings where everyone has their own stuff to do and keep them busy. That being said, the staff culture at my new school is incredible. Everyone I’ve met so far has been so friendly, helpful and really positive. I think that will be really good for me.

Anyway, I’m starting to ramble now. I guess the main purpose of this post was to try and tire my eyes out, but I still feel quite awake, so I guess the next stop is Family Guy on the tele until I fall asleep! I can’t believe there’s only 13 days of the holidays left. In 2 weeks time I hope I’ll be getting a good night’s sleep, because we’ll have finished the INSET day and be ready to welcome the children back tomorrow! Just, wow!

Elle.

Posted in Education, teacher, teaching, wellbeing

Pause.

100% coincidental that the blog subject is ‘pause’ and it comes after a 7 week hiatus from writing.

Things have been busy since we welcomed more children back to school. I’ve tried to get ahead of myself and plan as much as possible early so that I can be present for the children and not be worrying about the workload.

I’ve taken this evening to pause and reflect. I spent an hour long PSHE lesson today working with my bubble on managing uncomfortable feelings and exploring scenarios and good advice. I’m taking some of it.

I’ve found myself becoming overwhelmed by the changes that are about to happen in my life. I’m moving from my school of four years, the place I began my teaching career, leaving behind a few great colleagues and moving to a brand new school. I’m so excited to start at my new school. I’ve already connected with some new colleagues, I’m meeting some of my class next week, I feel fully supported by my new Head Teacher and the school in general aligns with my values.

I think it’s just the circumstances in which I’m leaving that are niggling away at me. I don’t get to say goodbye to all the children, I’ll miss my friends… As positive as I feel about the move I’m bound to be anxious about fitting in somewhere new and essentially starting again.

I’m taking a moment to pause tonight. I’m reflecting on my time at my current school, the highs and the lows, and ultimately my reasons for leaving. I’m reflecting on the most hardcore interview process I’ve ever been through, and how sick I felt because I wanted the position so much. I’m elbowing out the imposter syndrome that creeps in by reminding myself that the Governor, who was on the interview panel, said I was a pleasure to interview and was outstanding a week after the interview when I bumped into him.

I’m reminding myself that little things like having a stricter uniform policy (tattoos need covering, no exceptions) don’t matter, and I can conform because professional settings will never change their opinions on things like this. However, I’m concerned about how the one on the back of my neck and my forearm will be consistently covered… Surely we draw the line eventually? It’s an excuse to lose some weight and go shopping for some new school clothes that keep me covered!

I’m pausing to remember that these last few weeks in school are about plugging the gaps, but also about enjoying the time we have together, making memories and ensuring the children are having fun and doing okay personally. That mindset has seen a few Maths Mastery lessons go out the window, being replaced by interactive iPad and Seesaw based learning.

I’m pausing to consider how far we’ve come. I desperately miss my boyfriend, who I don’t live with and who I’m not really allowed to see. Since March we’ve maintained a long distance relationship over around 4 miles. I’m pausing to reflect on the last few weeks where we’ve been allowed to spend some limited time together and feeling grateful for that.

I made a conscious decision to leave my laptop at school tonight to ensure I don’t do any schoolwork. Even at a time where the stresses and pressures are different, it’s important that we take a break and find room to breathe.

I encourage you all to take a moment to pause.

Posted in daily writing challenge, Education, teacher, teaching

#DailyWritingChallenge – Day 19 – Inclusion

I’ve been away from my blog for a couple of days, I’m afraid to say that I just haven’t felt like writing! I hate that feeling because I feel like I’m betraying my love of reading and writing. This topic in particular confounded me last week and sort of brought about my writer’s block. I’m only a few years into my career and, of course, as a teacher I believe in inclusion. I’ve seen it work brilliantly and I’ve seen where it doesn’t. In my current class there’s a clear example of inclusion probably doing more harm than good, but when you’re stuck between the EHCP process and a hard place you have to do what you have to do.

So I was going to write about my personal experience, but then I got scared about GDPR and anyone being identified as it is quite a unique case. What has prompted me tonight to write about inclusion is my enrolment in an online British Sign Language course. Firstly, I need to plug this course. I’ve done one module so far and it’s brilliant. It’s normally £25 but with everything that’s going on they’ve developed a cheaper, tiered price list that starts at £3! Find all the details here.

There are two key things I’ve taken away from this recent venture so far, the first one I want to mention is the vastness of inclusion and what that means. Now I don’t know if I’m being naive, but at this stage in my career I understand inclusion to be about ensuring that everyone has access to the same teaching and learning as everyone else, regardless of learning or behaviour disability or challenge. I’ve never taught a child who is Deaf (or deaf – look it up, capitalisation makes a difference!) and until this year I hadn’t taught any children with complex needs, only a few challenging behaviours. The reason I feel that inclusion is so challenging is because it is so vast. We talk about the unique child and how everyone is different, but then every disability is different isn’t it? I’ve taught a handful of children with autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia and whilst two children may have had the same diagnosis, none of them were alike at all. The learning support assessment would flag up the same suggestions for supporting them in the classroom but you could not apply some or all to each child exclusively. What works for one hasn’t always worked for another in my experience.

This is why I reserve having a loud opinion on inclusion. Whilst I would love for everyone to access and experience the same, for some children it just doesn’t work. There can be so many barriers outside of that child’s own disability. Staffing, training, funding, resources, time – all of these things can impact our ability to promote inclusion, and these are the challenges we face if the child is even able to cope in a mainstream classroom. I know of one child however who I taught during my training in Y1. An abundance of complex needs that branched out into the physical and behavioural and led to this child having to be restrained for their own safety on a number of occasions. I recall conversations where the main concern was, ‘What happens when this child gets older and gets stronger?’ We couldn’t see how we could help this child experience mainstream school because there would come a time when real damage could and would be done that would be unable to be undone. It brings me great joy to say that I worked with this now Y4 child all day last week as they have started coming into school for childcare provision and it was a wonderful day. Everyone’s, not least the child’s, hard work has paid off and whilst entering for any formal examinations is off the table, they are about to embark on a Y5 journey, and I’m sure Y6, in a school that didn’t know if they could keep them safe and educated. That is when inclusion succeeds. What happens after Y6 is yet to be seen, and truth be told this child probably will need to attend alternative provision for their own safety and to receive appropriate education, but not yet – and that’s the win for me.

Where it doesn’t work? Well, my complex child who attends different classes and ‘accesses’ two different curriculums in the name of inclusion but who has made little to no progress over the last 12 months, and that is nobody’s fault. I should note that I typed accesses in inverted commas because the curriculum I have to provide for this child is of little value. What would a child get from Y5 history when they have the reading comprehension level of a Y1? We’ve worked so hard, as has this child, but we are still battling to get an EHCP so that we can start the process to get them into alternative provision because a mainstream secondary is unthinkable for this child. It’s a disgrace that the way the system works means that this battle has been going on for far too many years. The vast array of SEND means that inclusion is, and in my opinion always will be, a tricky, challenging and controversial (for some) topic.

The second thing I wanted to talk about was what I’ve learned so far from my BSL course. I’ve only learned the alphabet and numbers 1-10 so far (that’s session 1) but I’ve really surprised myself at how well I appear to have picked it up. I can look at words being finger spelled and follow along to identify the word and I can recite the alphabet almost fluently. I put off signing up to this despite telling my colleagues I was going to because I was worried it would be too much and I just wouldn’t be able to remember it. I looked at an image of the manual alphabet and just thought there’s no way! I’ve proven myself wrong tonight and it’s given me a little boost. I’m very lucky that my brain works in such a way that physical things, such as using my hands for sign language, sink in quite quickly – and always have done. It’s not that way for everyone and this is where the connection with inclusion comes in, what I have picked up easily could take another person weeks to get right. I’m not being big-headed, there’s a plethora of skills and knowledge that will never sink in for me that come naturally to many people I know. It just got me thinking about inclusion and the idea that it never stops. Adults can face as many learning difficulties as children, and I think that for us to fully understand and appreciate the challenges of inclusion in schools, we need to be able to apply it to our own lives and experiences.

And finally, I’m hoping to learn more about inclusion and SEND as my new school has a dedicated team and an integrated SEND facility as we have quite a few children with a whole range of SEND. I only got a glimpse at my interview but from what I can remember there’s a sensory room, walking frames and apparatus and a whole bunch of technology to support their learning, I can’t wait to find out more!

Posted in daily writing challenge, Education

#DailyWritingChallenge – Day 14 – Creativity

I have a love/hate relationship with creativity. I always considered myself creative, so did others. People would say I’m creative in friendly family/friend chat. I sometimes do feel creative. When I make something for my classroom, when I create a display, when I improvise in some way. Then I look at literally anything else my teaching colleagues do, make a brief comparison and then conclude that I’m not as creative as I wish.

I’m not bad at art. I have a good eye for detail when I focus and I can sketch quite well. I’m always envious of anyone who is effortlessly artistic. I just don’t understand how they can pick up a paintbrush/pen/pencil/marker and create something amazing with little error and vast talent. One of my colleagues knocked me up a Chinese dragon in an afternoon out of scrap resources from the art cupboard and honestly – it’s the best damn thing you’ve ever seen! I’ll be so sad to leave it behind when I move schools in the summer.

The good thing with creativity is that it’s subjective. Educators are having to get creative now with how they deliver knowledge and skills to their pupils. This looks like many different things, live classes, challenges, setting written work, online assignments… School’s are being creative with how they communicate with families, becoming more reliant on social media perhaps…

To be creative is to create. And we create learners and leaders of the future every day. I’m going to stop putting myself down every time I see a display that’s better than what I could do. We all create, it just looks different for everyone. My creativity comes with how I balance my life and teach my children.

I invite you to explore what you create and how that shapes your creativity.

Posted in daily writing challenge, Education

#DailyWritingChallenge – Day 13 – Community

Community is

Checking on your neighbour to see if they need any shopping or medication.

Sharing a knowing smile with your neighbour as you pass at a 2m distance.

Taking to the doorstep at 8pm on Thursdays to applaud and cheer our amazing care network.

Setting up new Whatsapp groups for various friendship groups you no longer see.

Calling someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Watching the Friday night musical on YouTube.

The weekly family FaceTime quiz/catch up.

Buying a tin of biscuits for the supermarket staffroom with your essential shopping.

Putting on a brave face for the children you still care for in school.

Hosting a water fight for the key worker’s children because they haven’t missed a day yet.

Developing stronger bonds than before with less physical contact.

Saying what needs to be said.

Leaving some things unsaid.

Sending updates to the school Twitter page just to keep in touch.

Sending a photo, video or message to someone just to try and brighten their day.

Thinking about others before yourself.

Understanding that we’re all in the same boat.

Friendships built on one thing in common – lockdown.

The only thing that will get us through this in one piece.

Community is everything.

Posted in daily writing challenge, Education, wellbeing

#DailyWritingChallenge – Day 11 – Perspective

Problems only exist in the human mind. Our perspective of these so-called problems underpins every aspect of our life. I believe that for the last 5 or so years of my life that I’ve slowly morphed into a Stoic without actually realising it until recent months. I’ve lived by a mantra of ‘if you can’t change or control it, don’t stress about it’. I try to advise people not to focus their energy and attention on something that won’t change, get better or get worse as a result. A current example being: my boyfriend and I are ready to buy a house, Coronavirus has had other ideas, everything is now on hold and we’re in lockdown in separate houses with our parents. We’re now into week 6 of not seeing each other and it sucks. However, is this within our control? Not at all. No amount of huffing and puffing and moods is going to make the pandemic stop and lockdown end, so why stress?

I don’t advocate a sunny perspective 100% of the time. I don’t think it’s in human nature to be positive and take the ‘right’ perspective of every situation every time. I think it’s important to reframe your outlook whenever possible if the result has a positive impact on you, but also sometimes we need to call a spade a spade, and a s**t situation a s**t situation. When you look at the world now you could so easily take the perspective of the victim. We’re being indiscriminately targeted by this evil virus, doctors and nurses don’t have the tools they need to save us and, slowly, confidence in the government to handle it is slipping. This I think requires three perspectives. The ‘real life’ one, the ‘Stoic’ one and the ‘positive’ one.

The real life perspective: Things are bad. People are dying profusely, years of underfunding and neglect are starting to peek through the cracks in the civil services, families are being torn apart, some never to see certain family members again, people are dying alone in hospital beds, children are missing school, people are stuck in lockdown with abusive partners, parents or other house-dweller, we are isolated and alone and there’s nothing we can do to change the situation. No amount of community spirit, clapping, FaceTime or hashtags will change the situation we find ourself in. It’s harsh and miserable but that’s the truth of the matter.

The Stoic perspective: All of the above, but with the acceptance that, no, we can’t change anything. I won’t take my emotions out on those I’m with because that won’t change anything. What I will do though is take this experience to learn and grow. I will evaluate what I see and read and hear and consider how I can develop from this. What beliefs and values of mine are coming to the surface right now? Do I act on these already? If not, how will I make them a key part of my daily life when all of this is over? I am not controlled by my mind, I control my mind and I will decide how this scenario plays out for me as far as is within my control.

The positive perspective: Taking both of the above into consideration, but seeing the positivity. Tragedy aside, people are talking more, we’re raising money, we’re voicing our opinions, we’re spending more time at home, we’re finding new ways to work, we’re spending time together as families, we’re exercising in the great outdoors, we’re looking after our homes and gardens, we’re learning new skills, we’re reading, we’re studying, we’re growing, we’re embracing the opportunities before us.

You aren’t a bad person for looking at the pandemic from a different perspective. For the first few weeks, I was still in shock of suddenly not being at work, so I quite enjoyed my early Easter holidays. I starting writing more, I tidied and cleaned, I read A LOT, I watched box sets, I cooked, I did my make-up properly, I took more care of me and I spent time with my parents. I felt so guilty when I first reflected and concluded that I’d, on some level, enjoyed myself. Then I realised that it’s all about perspective. I chose to take a positive perspective which probably did wonders for my mental health and helped to cushion the transition between being a full time teacher running round like a headless chicken to being a 3-4 day a week childminder.

After I was positive, I had a week of ‘real life’ perspective, and I got down and sad and fed up. I was undoing all the good work my positive mindset had done for me previously. And here we are, into 5 weeks of lockdown and I’m living by the Stoic perspective. I will worry about what I can control and let those that I cannot to continue happening around me. This perspective will save me a lot of worry, and I hope some of this is helpful for you too.

Posted in daily writing challenge, Education

#DailyWritingChallenge – Day 10 – Change

I pondered this for a while today. First instinct, as ever, was to look up the definition of the word and research its etymology. This time though I wanted to go at it from a more organic angle. This is how I considered change today while I was in school with the KS2 children.

There is so much change happening in the world today that thinking about it too much actually made my head spin a little bit. I decided to focus on the change right in front of me. The first thing that struck me was the changing relationships with the children I teach.

On average I’ve been providing child care for 2-3 of my own class, a couple of Y4s and some Y7s that are staff children. I found the first few days in this format really challenging. Give me a class of 30+ children and I’m away, a small group of 4-6 and the atmosphere is totally different. It has demanded a dynamic shift of how we relate to each other in the classroom. Whilst I already had a good relationship with the pupils in my class and school, I feel like there’s a sense of ‘in this together’ and in time, we’ll be the ones who went through that weird time when school was open but not school together. Almost like there’ll be that sense of knowing what it was like when it’s been such a unique experience. This in itself is a sadness for me because I won’t be back in September, so if we don’t return to school before the summer I won’t get to even tell the children myself that I’m leaving. That’s why I’m so focused on making these days with them fun and making memories together! We’re having a water fight on Thursday, pray for nice weather for me!

The other change I’m experiencing is with my colleagues. There’s a group of us who keep in touch via a Whatsapp group and I think we’ve all found ourselves dipping into it more. It’s like we’re changing and becoming closer despite actually seeing less and less of each other. It’s almost as though colleagues cope with the holidays and not seeing each other because we’re expecting that to happen, but now that term time has been stolen from us I think we’re realising that actually we’re more than just colleagues and we’re genuinely friends. This, I think, will be a lasting change that will bring us closer as time goes on. Again, this is bittersweet for me as I won’t be returning to the same school as them when all of this is over.

Change could easily have turned into a mass of purple prose – but I’ve kept it simple. I hope that this resonates in some way. We’re all going through changes, but change and adaptability is what helps us to survive. And we are survivors.

Posted in daily writing challenge, Education, teacher, teaching, wellbeing

#Covid19WellbeingEdumeet – Supporting Student Wellbeing. #DailyWritingChallenge Bonus Post.

Teachers have been swept up in a wave of online learning, Google Classroom, YouTube tutorials and emailed assignments. I think we need to take a step back to ensure the wellbeing of our pupils, and worry less about the academic implications.

I am lucky in my current setting. Our head teacher’s take on home learning is to set a document of subject-specific tasks each week and respond to pupil emails as and when. We are working on a rota of some days in school and the others working from home. I have seen other schools that have taken a different approach and are going in on the online learning from a different angle. No one knows who is right and who is wrong right now. The word unprecedented is floating around so much, which is why we can’t be sure that what we are doing is the right thing. This is where student wellbeing comes to the forefront for me.

In recent days, I’ve started to try and see things from the child’s point of view. Our children have had their routine ripped away from them. That familiar classroom and teacher, seeing their peers each day and developing as members of society by interacting with children and adults each day. Children who struggle to focus in a classroom are now facing an even bigger challenge by trying to focus in a setting that is probably normally associated with down time and reward. We’re all living in a world which is alien to that which we know. Children must be terrified. I was heartbroken when I realised (through various PSHE activities) that the vast amount of my children have anxieties about death. Either dying themselves of losing members of their family. For those children now, how petrifying must this indiscriminate virus be?

Parents are trying to work from home and be teachers as well. Some may be handling it well, others may be struggling with their own subject knowledge or ability to juggle their various new responsibilities. So why are we concerning ourselves with setting assignments and chasing them up to be completed?

Student wellbeing should be number one on our to do list. I for one will be encouraging my class to do what they need to look after their mental wellbeing. My weekly home learning guidance includes practical, low maintenance activities to spark joy and creativity. I’m telling my children to pursue a hobby and learn something new. Do you know how to stitch on a button? Can you shine your shoes? Do you know how to tie your laces? Can you fold clothes properly? Do you know how to put a wash on and work the machine? Can you bake a cake? Have you ever planted and nurtured a flower? Can you learn how to knit or sew? Can you build something for your room or the garden?

There is a plethora of life skills that our children could be learning, maybe even more so for the older ones. I believe that the best way to get our pupils through this uncertain time with their wellbeing in tact is to encourage them to use this time to develop as young people and pursue new skills and hobbies. How marvellous will it be when you get your class back and you can share all the new things you’ve learned while you’ve been away?