Bestinau got that-
It has been two years since schools were first closed due to the Covid pandemic. Do you remember that moment of panic on March 20, 2020 when Boris Johnson announced that school gates should close and all students should be homeschooled?
A lot has changed since then. We have all become accustomed to the idea of homeschooling and working from home, video calls are now an everyday occurrence and we have to accept that parent evenings and school performances are different than they used to be.
But what lessons have our schools learned? We asked Raj Mann, head teacher of Arena Academy at Perry Beeches, for his opinion on the impact the past two years have had on his students, staff and all families associated with the school. He remembered the shock and overwhelming amount of work that had to be done, but reflected what a difference it made to future school life.
read more – The most difficult secondary schools in Birmingham
He said: “Like everyone else, I listened to the Prime Minister’s announcement that schools would be closing in a kind of shock. It was unlike anything we’d ever experienced and when questions came pouring in from concerned parents, students and staff, I knew that school should quit.
“Two years later, we have endured the worst of the pandemic. And while Covid has been an incredible challenge for the whole country, and – we have to recognize – some families have suffered terrible losses and hardships, there were positives for us in school.
“The past two years have been challenging in schools, but I also look back on them as a rewarding period in which we have strengthened our role within the community and played a big part in helping students and their families move forward.”
We chat with Birmingham headteacher Davinder Jandu about how to make school life great in the Brummie Mummies podcast here
Six valuable lessons Mr Mann believes have emerged from the effects of the pandemic
A new respect for young people
He said: “As a country I am happy that we have learned a new respect for this generation of young people, who have shown themselves resilient, courageous and kind. Students helped each other through the hard times, that really spurred me on as a headline .”
A renewed respect for education
He added: “I believe that society has renewed its respect for teachers, schools and education. During that time of shock, families looked to their schools for leadership.
“I’m proud my staff has stepped up. Indeed, the whole community came together – our local businesses were so generous in providing food and supplies so our families didn’t suffer – with school at the core.”
A closer bond between school and parents
He said: “Our pastoral care has been strengthened and we now have a much closer relationship with parents, which can only help us better support our young people in the future.”
No more snow days!
He said: “Our use of technology has changed forever and we continue to integrate the best into our teaching and learning. Technology has also continued to support where children are absent due to the virus. Unfortunately, there will never be a snow day again!”
Greater parent involvement through virtual platforms
He added: “We are also maximizing technology to help parents interact with school in an easy, flexible way. For example, to hold parent evenings online or to stream presentations or meetings.”
Improved family communication
He said: “We’ve been keeping track of a lot of the additional communication channels we’ve put in place. I’ve had online walk-in coffee mornings with parents and it’s a great way to keep the conversations going.”
read more – Birmingham headteacher’s best homework tips – he says he can see when the parents have done it
read more – The hardest primary schools to enter in Birmingham
listen podcast – 10 tips for choosing your child’s school, what to do if it is oversubscribed and how to help them get used to it
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