The Covid-19 pandemic has brought disruption to pupils’ education throughout the country. At Oakwood, during the Summer Term 2020 the school remained open for the children of critical workers and we were proud to play our part in supporting their vital work during term time and throughout the holidays. The school reopened to early years children, Year 1 and Year 6 as soon as the government allowed this, and we were delighted to safely open the school to all pupils for the final three weeks of term. The school was open to all pupils throughout the Michaelmas term. During the 2020 lockdown the majority of our pupils became home learners and this has been the case again during the Spring Term 2021.
From the outset, our goal has been to ensure that, to the best of our ability, the childrens' learning remains engaging and varied so that pupils can continue to make progress and parents feel supported. A substantial number of lessons are taught live via ‘Google Meet’ and, where practicable, lessons follow the main school timetable including core English, maths and science lessons but also encouraging creativity through art, drama, music and food tech and exploration and project work in humanities. Children at home and those in school follow the same timetable and are thus able to see one another frequently on screen and feel part of the whole school community.
In addition to live lessons, there are many recorded lessons that can be accessed at a moment to fit with a busy family timetable using Google Classroom. We are ever mindful of the impact of isolation on the mental health of our children, and have implemented daily ‘live’ form times, weekly assemblies, and special small group ‘live’ sessions with our Headteacher, Clare Bradbury in the form of ‘Time with Mrs B’. Our youngest pupils are given tasks and activities they can complete with some support at home but are also invited to join live sessions for short lessons or for very valuable time connecting with their form tutors and friends.
We recognise that in addition to providing the children the tools to allow them to progress and engage academically that our contribution to our Oakwood families is vital in terms of the emotional health of our community. We are grateful to the support of our families as they assist their children with their work. We are happy to individually support families who have questions or concerns regarding their child’s well-being. Whilst our home learning provision is extensive, we are acutely aware of the pressures on working parents with children also learning from home. We therefore encourage families to work at their own pace and to enjoy, as far as possible, ‘off screen’ time.
Provision of places for Critical Worker and vulnerable families
Mrs Bradbury is very proud of the provision that we have been able to provide to our Critical Worker and vulnerable families throughout the pandemic. We have been delighted to support the numerous NHS critical workers who are parents in our school community. Our school has remained open throughout the pandemic for these families. Additionally, we have been able to continue to offer wrap-a-round care and holiday provision.