We are now half way through the fifth weekend of the UK lockdown in response to the Covid 19 outbreak and we still find ourselves in unchartered territory. When will schools re-open? When will we able to visit friends and family again? How will we ever return to normal? There are so many questions at the moment, and very few answers. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious and I understand if this is where you or your children find yourselves. Currently, no-one is quite sure what the future holds and certainly for me, the very idea of time itself has changed rather dramatically! Days pass quickly and slowly at the same time, and the weeks seem to drag and race by at all once. It may the same for you – you may be longing for the lockdown to end, or you may, hopefully, be able to find moments of enjoyment during all of it. Either way, we have never experienced anything like this before, so I would encourage you not to be too hard on yourself, whatever your reaction. Being kinder to one another and indeed kinder to ourselves when all of this is over would be one a really positive response for the whole world, incuding Wyke and Weymouth!
It’s been the start of a term like no other, I’m sure you will agree. I hope that those of you who have asked for work packs have found them useful. I know there will be further questions and queries and we definitely have more to do next week to continue to support our students, but I hope that you feel we are on the right track. It seems from the surveys that you have completed this week that we are setting about the right amount of work, although I know that there is a bit too much or a bit too little being set for some learners. If this is the case for your child, please do get in touch with us – it really is an individual approach that we are taking at the moment. If your son or daughter needs more, please contact us and we will stretch and challenge them. Equally, if the global pandemic is meaining school is the last thing on everyone’s mind at this point in time, please be reassured that we will help students to cover what they can and not worry if they are not able to complete everything.
On the subject of worries, I would like to briefly address a rather bigger issue – that of life and death. I am acutely aware that many in our community are increasingly being impacted by Covid 19. For all of us, this will mean anxieties and worries. For some, it may well mean hospital visits, testing and recovery. For others, sadly, it may well mean dealing with grief and loss. If this is the position you or your family is in, please know that you have my deepest sympathies and condolences. I hope that you are able to find solace and comfort in your grief and can celebrate happier times. When we do return eventually to school, I will be working with staff and with other professionals and agencies to ensure we can support children who have been affected emotionally by the last few months. Please do contact me directly should you need any support in this regard at this present time.
Returning to educational matters, next week, we are trying some new approaches, including a live lesson trial by video conference. If this is successful we will roll it out more fully across the school and I will work with my team to plan how we can make sure all year groups benefit. We are also looking to contact more of you over the phone for pastoral support – please do feedback constructively how we can improve our approach at this time. We will continue to use a wide range of platforms to set work and deliver education in the most ususual of circumstances. Next week, we also some new fitness videos lined up from our PE department and some challenges to share with staff and students.
Finally, I would like to finish with a focus on Jesus Christ. As a Church of England school, we are reminded that He is our great hope and comfort, no matter what our circumstances. Whilst the darkness may seem great in a time such as this, it will not overcome Him, and even though we may feel that we are enduring one of the great storms of our generation, the Bible’s promise is that Christ understands and suffers with us. He promises a greater day will come and offers a peace like no other. Whether you have a faith – Christian or other – or, indeed, none, I hope that you will be able to find some some of His peace tomorrow and in the days and weeks ahead.