Pott Shrigley Church School a year on from Covid

A message from the head of Pott Shrigley Church School

As we locked the gates to Pott Shrigley Church School on Friday 20th March 2020 nobody could predict when we’d next reopen them and how long Covid-19 would be around.

I think we all breathed a sigh of relief as schools reopened to full capacity in September, only to lockdown again post-Christmas. It’s been a year filled with challenges for schools as for so many, but we’ve got through the year with commitment, teamwork, kindness, endless risk assessments and a good few prayers.

During the initial lockdown our aim was to ensure that children and their families stayed safe and well – weekly phone calls, zoom class group calls, letters and postcards were sent and received in equal measure – we encouraged the children to write to friends, families, elderly neighbours and vulnerable people. We used Tapestry and the school website to stay in touch with families as often as they felt the need without any pressure whatsoever to formally ‘teach’ their child. When schools didn’t reopen as planned in January the emphasis changed, and overnight we went from having planned the terms’ work in class to a split between home-learners and those class-based. Our wonderful team at Pott Shrigley excelled themselves and worked relentlessly to prepare and hand deliver learning packs to all children within the following days whilst running classes as normal at school.

A Zoom call for the students

It’s been a huge challenge for children and staff to adjust and we were thrilled to welcome everyone back to school on 8th March. We know that some children are feeling anxious about the return to school and worried that they’ll no longer be level with their peers but as a small school with a fantastic staff to pupil ratio any concerns or knowledge gaps will be picked up on quickly and addressed sensitively. Whilst there’s talk of ‘catching up’ our priority is to see the children happy and feeling safe at school, as such we’re increasing our (already extensive) focus on wellbeing with Wellness Wednesdays to feature nature walks, specialist yoga classes and planting up Pott Garden. Forest School Fridays will once again resume with children able to improve tool skills, nature crafts and life skills. Weekly afternoons of whole-school PE are in place to enable the children to readjust to playing, negotiating and competing with their peers. When the children feel safe and happy they’ll be in a great position to learn and readjust to classroom life.

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