We are now two weeks after half term with a firm focus on getting the school ready for year 10 returning in small groups to see their teachers. The school has been rearranged, staffing considered and a huge pile of guidance sifted through so that, as a school, we can offer the very best of a bad situation for year 10. Whilst all of this is happening we have a huge amount of home learning taking place and a wider focus linked to our CARES value of self-development.
Today’s blog is entitled #Notonthejobdescription which has become the catchphrase of the week. Jobs have ranged from standing on the gate in the rain conducting temperature checks, setting up classrooms and moving lockers to allow for social distancing and even starring (in the loosest sense of the word) in a safety video! The team of staff on site have worked long hours to make sure we are ready. This has made us all think about what else is #notonthejobdescription and I would like to reflect on what this feels like for pupils. In our Hastings family we try to make it as simple as possible for pupils; come to school to be part of our community, work hard and be ambitious for yourself, take responsibility for your work and your actions, make the most of the enriching curriculum on offer and do everything you can to develop yourself further so that you are ready for life beyond Hastings. So much of this is much harder when our pupils are not in school.
- How do you feel part of a community that you never see or interact with?
- How do you keep motivated when always working alone?
- How to keep taking responsibility when the situation appears to have no end?
- How to access all the extra bits of school without being there?
- How to know the areas for development without conversation or face-to-face guidance?
I do not have the answers to all of these questions, but we look to find a path that we can follow. We are using videos, phone calls and rewards to keep in touch with our Hastings family. This has included extending what we do for parents, many of whom have been shocked to get a certificate and chocolate treat! We are encouraging pupils to reach out to each other and staff to keep up their levels of motivation. We are asking pupils to reflect on their lives and the lives of others so they keep pushing themselves, even from a distance. We are learning ways to grow as a community with wider aspirations and wider skills and hobbies and finally we are trying to give precise and informed feedback to enable pupils to keep progressing without being in school.
We are fortunate that next week sees the start of a slow and gradual return to some normality with year 10 arriving back in school, we hope that soon this will be all of us together again. Until then, most of what we are all doing is #notonthejobdescription but I am so proud of our staff, our parents, our pupils, in fact our entire Hastings family for the ways that they are doing a job that they never could have imagined at the start of 2020.