I spoke with the children this week about the good things that have come out of the lockdown and the things we have to look forward to this term. As a society, we have been forced to acknowledge a number of things in different ways: community spirit, focus on essential workers, improved access to cultural jewels like museums, galleries, opera and theatre without having to travel, improved sleep patterns, changes in our working habits, alternative contact with friends and family, changes in our routines, time to re-evaluate our lives, clearer waterways (Venice, for example, has never been so clean), improvements to the internet due to demand, and reduced carbon emissions. There are, of course, many more aspects of our lives that have changed immeasurably over the past year and we, as a school, are evaluating what changes have taken place that are worth holding onto.
We have much to be grateful for and much to look forward to. This term brings the Years 4 & 5 Production and the Years 6 & 7 Production; we are working on these in terms of how we deliver whilst keeping to Covid-19 restrictions! The Year 5 Bushcraft Weekend at May half-term, our Eco Week in June, and the residential trips for Year 6 (Rhoscolyn), Year 7 (South Wales), Year 8 (PGL). Our Year 8s will enjoy their Challenge Weeks & Production after their final assessments and everyone is looking forward to our Sports Days, Fete and Speech Days.
Next week, the Years 4 and 5 pupils will spend much of their week preparing for their production of Robin and the Sherwood Hoodies. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, this will have to be pieced together using video and audio recordings and sent out to parents a week or so later. The children will be off timetable, based in the Talbot Room for the week; working on classwork when not involved in rehearsals or recordings in the Jubilee Hall.
As a school that has promulgated resilience as one of our key qualities for several years, it is rewarding to see that our pupils have returned to school in such a buoyant and engaged manner. There is much talk about pupil ‘catch up’ and school ‘recovery’ in the news, but at Holmwood, this is not on the agenda due to the fact we kept apace with the curriculum and pupils’ progress. Our focus is on quality, variety, engagement and excitement in the learning arena, whilst, of course, ensuring our tracking and monitoring of the pupils ensures gaps are plugged, weaknesses are supported and that ‘stretch and challenge’ is at the heart of all that we do, thus underpinning academic rigour.
As the sun shines and the hope of warmer weather is on the horizon; as the lockdown slowly loosens; as the promise of normality looms; let us all rejoice in the place we are; the opportunities we have; and the wonderful children we have.
Have a lovely weekend.