When the announcement came that schools were going to be shut back on the 18th March, there was initial concern and confusion amongst the staff, children and parents, which was added to as everyone tried to work out who was considered to be a key worker.
Staff, having foreseen this happening, wasted no time in providing their ready prepared resources, online, for all pupils, compiling together a whole package for the school community.
Already, we were encouraging parents to share work with us. Listening to parents as the lock down continued, we actively sought further ways to engage our local community and bring us together. At the end of the first day, our senior leadership team looked at all the things carried out by the school and explored if it were possible to put these online; it was here that we came up with the idea of online, live assemblies.
These assemblies happen weekly and encourage the children and their families to look back over the last week, seeing what their friends have been up to, sharing their ideas and strategies with others, in order to all learn together.
During these assemblies, we have ‘dreamt-up’ weekly challenges to engage the local community.
We ‘hit it off’ with a song challenge, where children sent in videos of them singing encouraging lyrics to part of a collective song and these were put together to form an emotional chorus. This was closely followed by a book scene challenge and an egg challenge, where families applied their very creative thinking and inventive skills, to recreate scenes from books and design transport to move an egg safely over the distance of a metre.
All of these challenges have certainly helped to engage the school community and make us feel part of a school again, as has been made evident in parent comments.
“We had so much fun doing these.”
“The live assemblies are lovely. It makes us feel as if we’re all still connected when school is closed to us. We look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to and enjoy the weekly challenge.”
“Thanks to you and all your team for your inspiration, enthusiasm, dedication and support at this time.”
Our most recent challenge was contributing towards our beautiful school banner, a massive rainbow, by sending-in a photo of themselves with their own personal sign of thanks. This now displays our gratitude to all of the key workers outside our school premises.
Headteacher Richard Blakeley