Our school is known in the local area as having a family feel, for nurturing the whole child and not being focused purely on academic results. The way that our school is perceived sometimes causes difficulties but that’s a blog for another day!
Because of the nature of our staff team, I knew that the wellbeing of the children and their families would be on everyone’s minds when school closed. I thought I knew most of my colleagues well, but I had totally underestimated quite how close-knit our community truly is.
I find #3goodthings in every day and on many occasions I comment on something to do with my school team. In the spirit of finding things in threes, here’s my top 3 reasons why our Palace Wood community is stronger now during lockdown than ever.
My son received a call from his TA this week. When our headteacher first suggested that we find a way for every family to receive a phone call each week, I thought it was a beautiful way to maintain relationships. It was truly wonderful to see the joy it brought my son to hear from one of the adults he’s missing seeing every day. I know that staff enjoy making the calls as much as the children like to receive them, and the parents for that matter! School is such a huge part of all of our lives and those moments of conversation are helping to keep our community together whilst we are physically apart. We’ve used our school Twitter to highlight the great adventures that our children have at Palace Wood, but now it is a place to stay connected. From 80’s Friday to recordings of staff reading stories, the community can share the things that they’ve been up to during lockdown and it is definitely social media at its finest.
There have been a number of projects led by creative geniuses in our team! Children across the school have participated in music videos, sculptures and portrait bunting. Individual classes have then been inspired to make their own virtual art galleries, dance videos and songs. I have huge respect for the people coordinating these projects not only for sharing their talents, but also for thinking of ways to bring our whole community together through creativity. The self-portrait gallery has been displayed on our school railings and so I hope that the local community also enjoy the artwork that our pupils and staff have worked to create. Everyone plays a part in these projects, through their participation or through their enjoyment of the finished piece.
We have virtual social events on our staff What’s App group that are hugely entertaining, such as scavenger hunts and quizzes. We’ve also stayed in touch through Zoom staff meetings which have been an unexpected source of entertainment, usually thanks to technology letting people down! I’m sure I’m not alone in needing to find humour in this difficult situation, and I know that I can rely on my colleagues to provide this. Our headteacher has completed daily challenges since lockdown which have kept spirits up throughout the school community, and further afield since his recent television debut (#thedancingheadteacher is probably not a hashtag he thought he’d ever adopt!)
I have never been prouder to be part of such a vibrant school community, and am so grateful that my son is also benefitting from being part of the Palace Wood family.
It really is the truth that we are stronger together.