Head's Blog - Paul Dwyer | Redmaids' High School
We don’t under-estimate the challenge of home-schooling and know that parents across the country, and indeed the world, are finding it tough.
This is particularly true of those with primary school aged children, where the requirement to educate at home, on top of providing all the other practical support required, can be quite overwhelming.
All I can say is that children can learn so much from just being around adults – by chatting to them you can develop their language skills. Cooking with them, reading to them, walking round your local neighbourhood – all of these things have value. The important thing is just to pace yourself, and take one day at a time.
Here at Redmaids’ High Junior School, my team and I, are doing all we can to maintain the continuity of education for the girls, and also provide the high level of service our parents quite rightly expect.
We know we are in a fortunate position. Each pupil has their own personal iPad, which they are used to using everyday as a key learning tool. Even our youngest pupils in Year 3 are adept with ‘Firefly’ – our school’s digital learning platform – so we have been able to move seamlessly into remote learning from our homes during lock-downs. But equally important, is how this daily contact allows us to monitor the girls’ mental and emotional well-being.
It delights us to hear parents say, “Your remote learning provision has been second to none and I feel so grateful that you are still giving my daughter the opportunity to thrive.” For my team and I, this makes it all worthwhile.
However, even with our greatest of efforts, we know a certain amount of the workload inevitably falls on parents. It is you who must navigate WiFi issues, snack demands, finding stationery, entertainment during screen breaks, often managing multiple children in different online classes, possibly whilst working from home yourself and dealing with the stress and anxieties of the current times.
So please be kind to yourselves. If the house is a mess, the laundry is piling up and it is fish finger sandwiches for dinner again – that is fine. We all have a LOT on our plates, on our minds and on our ‘to do’ lists. But, with our supportive community and some necessary self-care, we will all get through this together.