As for this unprecedented week – what did I learn?
I was reminded of the admiration I have for the professionalism of educationalists, support staff and governors. I recognise how determined school leaders have been, working top and tail of their working day, to support their staff, students and community. I have to recognise the response of pupils, particularly those in examination years and teachers in training (all those mid investment of any long term endeavour), now working towards an uncertain end point. I was reminded of just how important the ‘rite of passage’ of leaving school is to pupils and how it was described as being “stolen” from this graduating class of self-acclaimed – “COVID kids.”
And yet, in adversity – we often see camaraderie and collective endeavour take centre stage. That has been the case at our school. The Headteacher and senior staff visiting all tutor groups, supportive, reassuring and informative (and regular) communications. A dress-down day (bring a can of food for foodbanks) on the last day, restrictions sensibly eased (Y11 pupils get leaving books signed, shirts signed), reassuring messages from Heads of Year to their year groups, heighten IT support, staff sharing resources and trading skills. Formal support supported by informal support with sweet extras shared in the shared office. Communications and recognition from the Governors, parents messages passed on, acknowledging kind gestures from and between staff – all these actions contributed in their own way. With that spirit in mind – I too return a note of thanks.
Beyond our school gates, businesses sharing products, a guard of honour at one school saw Year 11 off and (potentially) on their way (nice gesture), colleagues sharing booklets and resources. In that vein, here are my contributions
Wakelet Collections – Learning collections of at least 10-15 hours each, all shareable with Google Classrooms and Microsoft Teams. You are more than welcome to collaborative if you wish.
A Christmas Carol – https://wke.lt/w/s/wylvkV
Of Mice and Men – https://wke.lt/w/s/9l4t9T under construction
Romeo and Juliet – https://wke.lt/w/s/KsvGT6
Othello – https://wke.lt/w/s/xUHAOk
There are a number of free ebook providers. I really like the format of Standardebooks.
Lastly, two interesting links.
The Show Must Go Online, an online group, are reading and live streaming the complete plays of William Shakespeare. I look forward to the irony of King Lear – written while quarantined by the plague.
The first livestream was of The Two Gentleman of Verona, on Thursday 19 March, 7pm GMT. More details here.
Second, Audible have opened up a catalogue of children books for the duration of school closures