Corona Diaries 3 - Has anyone seen the giraffe?
In out in out, shake it all about! Are we opening again? Aren't we? Well for now the answer is a resounding 'no' to any changes from the current system. The government has said that schools will only re-open when it is completely safe to do so, and subject to certain criteria.
Whilst it is true that we are all eagerly looking forward to getting back to normal, no one wants to put lives at risk.
There has been a lot of focus on how school closures have affected certain groups of pupils and year groups. Not much attention has been given though, to our youngest pupils those in Reception.
Can you remember your first day at school?
It's huge! The whole business of knowing you are going to 'big school'. It's all your parents and grandparents talk about to you. You've watched you older siblings move into that strange new world of homework, school dinners, clubs, spellings etc. - and now it's your turn! The uniform is all ready and you've done your induction days, you know the name of your teacher and you are all set. Then after a term and a half, you can no longer go.
For schools all over the country progress over the year might be delineated into steps such as:
1) Won't go to the toilet 2) Won't come out of the toilet 3) Can spell toilet phonetically
Staying with the toilet theme, Reception teachers spend a lot of time retrieving items such as the small world giraffe out of the toilet in the first half term, by the time those children get to mid March, they are writing, enjoying books, and able to count not only all the present and correct giraffes but their spots too!
In other words, the giant steps made by Reception children are rarely replicated again as learning and progress become more in-depth, spiral-like and steadier.
So, for some of our Reception children, coming back may be a bit like starting school all over again, it's really important that, as with other particular year groups, we take extra care to support their return to school and do everything we can to ensure they settle back in as well as they started.