23/04/2020

Time...

 

What a precious commodity. To remember. To reflect. To plan.

 

Never more so than now.

 

It’s both eerily stood still, and strangely accelerated over last month. At least from my perspective.

 

So, in taking time to remember, to reflect and to plan, three phases of educational experience come time mind.

 

Firstly, Reaction.

 

It scarcely seems possible that exactly a month ago, I had a diary booked full of ‘learning walks’ where, as Senior Leaders, we spend a week dropping into lessons to chat to students, observe classroom practice and soak up the day-day feel of the school.

 

Literally overnight, we had to shut up shop.

 

The initial reaction: preserve continuity of learning and get to the Easter Holiday through the provision of online activities based on reliable platforms we knew would work.

 

Then, Adjustment.

 

An acceptance that a remote form of learning was, for the foreseeable future, the new normal. So, with some time for staff teams to reflect over the holiday, the development of Virtual Curriculum Overviews for each Year Group going forward…

 

Example virtual curriculum for Year 7

Yr7 Vurtual Curriculum

Click to download PDF of YEAR 7 Term 5 Virtual Curriculum >>>

 

A curriculum. A clear and planned sequence of learning that offers progression and greater breadth, variety and balance to the scholastic offer as a whole.

 

We know it’s still not perfect. But over virtual time, it will continue to evolve, based - as in ‘real time’ - on Feedback from students as parents, as well as our own self evaluation. Remember, just a month a go, we were about to take a learning walk.

 

And now, Recovery. First thoughts already forming about what return to school, when it happens, will look like. That’s how we’re planning to spend our next block of time.

 

That time will pass.

 

Juliet Nicholson’s book, ‘The Great Silence 1918-20’ is a reflection on Britain in the aftermath of World War I, another period of time which of course witnessed a country coming to terms with massive disruption to its ‘old ways’ of doing things. Describing the thoughts of the novelist Winifred Hobby on the day the war ended on 11 November 1918, Nicholson concludes:

 

‘In that moment, a glorious day, it seemed that every colour was clearer, every air was fresher than on ordinary days - as though the world was having a birthday.’

 

 

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