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.
Never before has the job of leading a school been so challenging. As a system-led profession, we need to come together and offer a much-needed mutual wellbeing support service, acting almost as a safety device for headteachers. Most importantly, for it to be available and accessible to everyone, it needs to be free. This is where Headrest comes in.
School children across the UK will be filling up bird feeders, turning classrooms into bird hides and creating wildlife friendly bakes in preparation for watching and counting the birds in their school grounds for the 20th anniversary of the RSPB’s Big Schools’ Birdwatch. The Birdwatch – which takes place during the first half of the Spring term (5 January – 22 February) – is a chance for children to participate in a UK-wide citizen science project and generate real life data. The Birdwatch involves children watching and counting the birds that visit their outdoor space, before sending the results to the RSPB.
As the schools get back to business, the news headlines focus on the months of learning that children have lost – and with good reason. Many pupils not only missed out on classroom teaching between March and July, they also didn’t have the opportunity to embed the previous term’s learning in their long-term memory.
The process of getting us back to where we were is currently hesitant, uncertain and we are not the same as we were. We have all been changed, regardless of how you considered your mental state to be. We are very aware that the world is uncertain – and it’s not just about coronavirus. Along with the change of/lack of routine, we can identify five barriers of uncertainty that have come about from this crisis:
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