Let’s be rainbows!
There have been some spectacular rainbows over the past week with the weather we have been having. Each time I see a rainbow, I am reminded of the words of American poet Maya Angelou: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud”.
Leading a school during the Coronavirus pandemic feels like there is a grey cloud over me most of the time. Each day, I dread the call that we have another positive case and have to make decisions, which seem to please no one. Students want to be in school. Parents want their children in school. Teachers want their students in school. But we must also make every effort to avoid further transmission of the disease to keep our school community safe and well.
Thankfully, there are many people who are my rainbows.
On a particularly cloudy day, I decided to ditch the paperwork needing my attention, and instead walk around the Year 10 lessons taking place. I was so impressed with the engagement of every single student in their lessons - all working hard and soaking up their learning.
Mr Williams shared some rainbows last week in the form of Year 7 budding artists in 7C selected by Ms Whadcock-Jones.
I have also been really grateful to those parents who have taken the trouble to send me an email thanking me for the communication from the school in these challenging times. Here’s just a flavour of the rainbows on a gloomy day:
“I just wanted to say thank you for the way Kingsway School is handling everything at what is a really difficult time for everyone. I'm sure the current situation is a logistical nightmare for you all but the regular updates are really helpful, & I appreciate the steps that are being taken to keep our children safe. I, along with many other parents, are obviously worried about our children in year 11 who are in their final year & face an uncertain future with regards to GCSE exams & job prospects but I have confidence that we will be kept informed every step of the way so thank you for that. I hope the staff & their families are all safe & well.”
“I just wanted to say thanks to you and all of your staff for the work you're doing to keep students and families safe and minimise disruption to learning. It is a massive undertaking in a school of this size, but the communication between home and school, and the online work have been excellent. I can only imagine what a nightmare it must be for you, so thanks again.”
“I just wanted to add how impressed we have been with communication from the school throughout the induction process and how much Oliver is enjoying Kingsway so far. We are so glad we chose Kingsway for him and appreciate all your hard work and dedication.”
“The communications we received from the school were fantastic, in what must have been difficult circumstances. We have been kept informed throughout and I can happily say the one day of homeschooling we took part in was also brilliant. Thank you for looking after my daughter and her friends so well - it really does put my mind at rest whilst the rest of the world is losing theirs!”
Please keep these messages coming - I share them with our teachers and support staff to remind them of what a great job they are doing. Your positive feedback really does help staff morale at a time when grey clouds are all too frequent.
Talking of which - last but not least - the staff at The Kingsway School are my array of rainbows. They are all working so hard to provide a safe and inspiring learning environment for your children. Rushing from one classroom to another every hour, ready to shift from face to face lessons to virtual teaching and all with a smile on their face.
You can meet many of them in our first ever virtual open evening. Even if you don’t have a child in primary school, it is worth a look at what is really great about Kingsway.
As I write this blog, I am responding to the latest report of a positive case in Year 10. Again, we find ourselves putting our plan into action. Year 10 students will need to isolate at home whilst we go through the process of identifying close contacts.
We know that parents will be disappointed that their year 10 children are back learning from home. We hope that the majority will be back in school shortly.
COVID is certainly making its mark on our normal school routines. We have noticed a particular impact on our attendance data. Not surprising you might think! However, COVID related absences apart, we have also noticed an increase in non-COVID related absences. Previously, students with sniffles would have been sent into school, whereas now parents are choosing to keep them at home.
If you think your child is well enough to be in school, and they are not displaying any of the COVID symptoms, it is better for them to be in school to receive the education that they need. I appreciate this is a difficult call to make as parents; if you would like any guidance on whether your child should be in school, please get in touch with their pastoral head of year or our attendance officer Miss Stansfied - firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to a week of rainbows (without the clouds!).
Have a lovely week,