“This crisis should not be allowed to rob them of hope – the gift of childhood. It is the responsibility of all adults who care for the children, to help them find their place in this World again, and to build their emotional resilience. Our future as a Nation depends on it.”
Professor Barry Carpenter CBE
As a school that prides itself on the relationships it creates with its children and families, as all classes returned in September 2020, it was essential we continued to enable the children to continue to develop their emotional resilience, their self-regulation and learn how to learn in our school environment again.
Knowing that disruption to regular schooling has the greatest effect on children who are still at the early stages of learning to read, reading and the rapid acquisition of phonic knowledge became our key priority.
We found that our children returned to school with different experiences of the pandemic and needed to be met where they were and that it would be wholly unproductive to assume a uniform learning loss across all children as a group and across all subjects.
A small amount of Catch up funding was received from the government which was invested in a range of measures designed to help targeted groups of children. More details can be found here:
Autumn Catch Up Funding (with impact)
Summer Catch Up Funding
Our full remote learning offer was launched as the third lockdown started in January 2021.
Online learning uploaded to tapestry mirrored class-based learning in both Nursery and Reception with challenges and activities set using a combination of videos, photographs and downloadable documents. As Tapestry enables interaction between home and school, staff continued to comment on observations added by parents. Teachers love to see how you are accessing the resources at home and welcome posts celebrate milestones and achievements.
SeeSaw was introduced in Key Stage One to facilitate productive communication and interaction between home and school. It allowed staff to mirror the class-based opportunities whilst maintaining a high level of interaction through photos, video and sound clips, as well as motivating comments, to any work submitted.
As the children returned from this national lockdown, it was essential that the children could quickly reconnect with their teachers and their peers, and re-engage with school. There was a clear focus on routines and expectations as well as a review of the learning environment to ensure it would meet the needs of our children.
A high priority was placed on not only the core subjects but also an analysis of any gaps in knowledge of the foundation subjects that were covered via remote learning. Subject leaders investigated the progress that children made and, through a range of quizzes and assessment opportunities, identified key knowledge that will need to reviewed and embedded in future terms.
We continued to engage with our families developing more ways to connect with parents who themselves have spent more time on their children’s education. We have made a conscious decision as a school to continue some aspects of our remote learning offer: parents continue to use Tapestry to interact with their child’s independent learning and set home learning challenges; and in Key Stage One, Seesaw is used for homework challenges.
We realise that it will take time to see the full effects of the pandemic on school life.
This is not a sprint but a marathon and therefore needs all stakeholders working together to ensure our children continue to succeed despite the disruption of the last two academic years.
Despite the disruptive impact of the pandemic on our school, we have taken advantage of this rare opportunity to evaluate the school’s current position, rebuild and continue to positively develop our curriculum.