As we come to the end of the Easter “holiday” – and a month of school closure – we have had the opportunity to reflect on what this has meant for us as a school community, at this stage.
We now know that the lockdown will continue for at least another three weeks and that will take us close to the May half term. For us, as school staff, that would mean it will have been around 7 weeks without working with the children and, mostly, without even seeing them.
This time has further demonstrated how much we love our jobs and working with children of our community. Of course, the challenge of supporting children to make progress is always there but meeting that challenge on a daily basis is why we do the job we do. Supporting progress is not necessarily in meeting the national requirements in maths and English, but helping children develop a range of knowledge, skills and understanding about the world around them and about them as individuals. This necessity of this wider learning has been emphasised further during our current position.
The daily interaction with the children of Harlow Green is an amazing privilege which has been interrupted but which we are greatly looking forward to re-establishing. When we think about how we normally see children walking through the doors on a morning with smiles on their faces (most of the time!) and with an openness to learn, matched by a wish to interact with their friends and adults, it reminds us how much they give us in return.
Over the last few weeks, we have created the opportunity for the community to share what is happening, both in school and at children’s homes, which has been as much for us as it has been for the children who are isolating. It has been wonderful to see all the different activities that children have engaged in and the quality time they have spent with their families. Although this is not the context in which we would have wanted, the situation has allowed us all to re-evaluate what we believe is important in our lives and focus on relationships – whether that be in our households, or from a distance using technology – rather than material possessions.
As a way of reminding us about what has happened over the last month and the importance of the children at the heart of it all, Mr Hollingworth has created a short video which we hope families will enjoy watching. Our strength is in our relationships and together we will meet the challenges we currently face, especially with the support of our wonderful children.