As I am sure you may have read in the news, there are concerns about gaps in learning and pupils potentially ‘being behind’ due to the school closures. Whilst I share concerns about possible gaps and for many academic progress may have temporarily been slowed, this really should not be our priority.
For me, wellbeing is priority over academic progress. As without being resilient, able to regulate and manage our feelings and have a growth mindset, learning is almost impossible to manage. At Central, we pride ourselves on our approach to personal development, welfare and behaviour. In 2017, Ofsted rating this area of our provision as being ‘Outstanding’.
That is why when we come back to school, there will be an even stronger focus on playtime, interaction, Oracy, listening and giving space and time to adjust. Gaps we will be able to fill in time but the main gap to fill is ensuring children feel safe, secure and ready to settle back into school life.
There has been huge amounts of learning going on at home that goes beyond academic experiences. I have seen so many invaluable practical life skills being developed over this period. For example: baking, construction, recipes, measuring ingredients, having discussions, using a computer and many more. These skills will help prepare children to become self-sufficient, responsible citizens. This ultimately is what schools set out to achieve and this must not be forgotten.
After half term, I will be taking on the new role of ‘Personal Development and Oracy Lead’. Now more than ever, I feel this area of the curriculum is of paramount importance. I am really excited to be able to lead this area of the school, especially during this tricky time.
Take care, stay safe and remember wellbeing should be the main focus.