A date set in my mind is, tomorrow, 20 March. It was a Friday in 2020 and was the final day in school last year as coronavirus spread across the UK. It was followed by the first national lockdown the following Monday. Quite an interesting 364 days since then!
Back in the present, another week of school actually at school has continued to energise. The opening of the pool has been a big boost, so much outdoor play and activity, the corridors alive with boys and girls coursing through them, games fields covered in players, classrooms full of pupils, science labs with experiments and practicals everywhere, dramatic turns in the theatre, the cookery school smelling wonderful – most of the time! – and just the cheerful chirruping of children enjoying each other’s company.
Equally, this return to full on immersion in other peoples’ lives and the perpetual motion of a school day have led to some tired bodies and minds. Learning to adapt again to the social dynamic of larger groups, compromising where you may not have had to for the last three months, a longer timetable, endless stimulation from all things around you, not wanting to miss out, being more on show to a wider audience, the return of homework and many other adjustments from remote learning impact different people in different ways.
There is no doubt the benefits and gains significantly outweigh the challenges, but it is worth us all being mindful that these are very unusual circumstances and hence it may not be plain sailing at every turn.
I may see some of you briefly tomorrow when you drop off, but I wish you all a restful weekend.