Looking ahead, with the sun on our backs
The sun is shining; the temperature is rising...it must be the start of the new school year. The mixed summer weather of grey skies, middling temperatures and downpours has broken for this first full week back and the weather map shows a big yellow sun. School summer holidays often feel sandwiched between early summer sunshine and trepidation. Nervousness at whether the summer respite will bring relief and refreshment followed by anxiety at what awaits us as we step back into the classroom.
This year like last is fraught with unknowns. Will the vaccine role out be enough to keep us safe and allow life inside the school building to adjust to a new normal? For many, bubbles are out, masks are off and music, drama and science experiments are for real. Will it last?
One of the overarching challenges of the last 18 months has been the uncertainty, the stops and starts as the situation changes. However, a bit like the sunshine and warmth of the forecast for the week ahead, we can be comforted by the resilience and determination shown by staff and students to keep on going and make the best of whatever is thrown at us.
The start of the school year comes with energy and a buzz, excitement at what lies ahead; new things to learn, new experiences to have, new friendships to make. Schools up and down the country will be determined to make the best of whatever is on the horizon. Holding onto what has been learned from juggling virtual, socially distanced, bubbled, and every other adaptation will help us deal not only with the present but with what lies around the corner.
The tendency to say ‘yes’ or ‘maybe we can’, when really we were never sure is one of the biggest changes during the pandemic. At a time of pessimism at what we were facing, came a much greater optimism. If we can hold onto this then we will see lasting changes to how children and young people can continue to learn and be a part of school even when health conditions put huge barriers in their way. By working together to say ‘yes’ or ‘maybe we can’ could change access to education for everyone living with chronic health conditions now and in the years ahead.
Not a bad outcome from one of our most turbulent times in education!
The Well at School Team