There has been much fanfare about technology coming to the rescue when the pandemic hit earlier this year, and schools around the world were forced to close, or reduce activities to the minimum. Almost overnight, students and teachers were thrust online, with educators scrambling to develop virtual schedules, rethink assessment, and determine how best to mitigate learning loss during this challenging time.
COVID-19 impacted every aspect of education through 2020, but at RHS, we were ahead of the curve having started our digital learning journey back in 2013 when we started to invest in EdTech. So, when the government instructed schools across the UK to close on 20th March, and school leaders waited for guidance as to how to proceed with teaching and which pupils were eligible to attend school, we were able to switch to a full online learning curriculum within 24 hours.
The NSPCC is looking for 13 to 16-year-olds to join a Young People’s Board for Change. The board is an exciting opportunity to have a say in important work by the UK’s leading child protection charity.
I began my career working as a Level 2 teaching assistant the summer after I graduated from university with a degree in Contemporary History. Fast-forward seven years: I am now in my fourth term as deputy headteacher of the same school I joined in September 2013. At 27, I’ve been told that I was most likely the youngest deputy head in the local authority of Sandwell. On paper, it looks like I’ve had a meteoric rise at an incredibly rapid pace. Whilst this is true, it is a combination of opportunity, skill, personal ambition and commitment to achieving the very best for our pupils which has contributed to my rapid career progression.
As a Newly Qualified Teacher, I appreciate that there are hundreds of challenges that we NQTs face on a daily basis: New school, new students, new responsibilities, yet same old dreaded observations. Throw into the mix a global pandemic to cut short your training year, and it's much harder looking for that golden nugget of a job (but on the plus side I have mastered the art of interviewing in shorts, shirt and tie).
As teachers, a lot of us are guilty of cramming our ‘free-time’ with as many fun activities as possible. Donning our roles as partners, parents, carers and / or pet owners, we exhibit an almost misplaced guilt that maybe we’ve spent too much time on work recently, leading to a wellbeing-reducing, drastic need to overcompensate.
Christmas is a huge part of this half-term. While preparing for it can be stressful, it contributes a great deal to the school community and wellbeing. Nativity plays, Christmas lunches, cards, pantomime visits, carol services, parties, discos, fetes, staff nights out are all difficult to do under COVID-19 restrictions, and there is a genuine fear from some staff, children and parents that Christmas could be cancelled.