The past few months have seen plenty of abnormal changes to our daily lives and routines. One of the main changes that we as a nation have had to face is our schooling system.
By Jamie Di Francescomarino
I am sure all parents of children in education would agree that it has not been easy. With many children being homeschooled and with staff at schools continually on high alert for the next Government announcement of change, we have all had to dig deep to find those sunshine moments and that silver lining.
After speaking to Elaine Jenkins, Headteacher of Maidenbower Junior School, I got to understand some of the more positive moments of learning in lockdown.
Elaine starts by saying “In actual fact, these moments have been more plentiful than we could have imagined at MJS. A large number of children have benefitted from the increased attention and support of a parent. Children have enjoyed reading to an adult every day and through the development of independent learning skills, children have learned a range of new things, presenting their learning in imaginative and creative ways. “
“Many families used the lock-down as a time to reflect and re-evaluate what is important. So many walked or cycled around the local woods, enjoying nature and the new adventure of exploration.”
I also caught up with Elaine about what sort of response the children had to it all specifically, upon their return to the school, so here are a few things that were said by some of the pupils at Maidenbower Junior School:
“We are loving hearing the birds sing”, “I enjoy bike rides with my dad who has had the time to play with me”, “My family has been having long games of scrabble and monopoly”, “We have seen the seasonal changes and the increase in flowers over the past 3 weeks”, “We picked some wild garlic then made pesto with it”, “I have learned to bake!”. Just to name a few!
The school has been open throughout to support their core groups of children of key workers, children in need of more support and their year 6 children who are gearing up to start at secondary school at the start of September. The staff at the well-respected Junior school have thoroughly enjoyed seeing children with happy, smiley faces as they have slowly returned.
Elaine also added “It feels like the whole community has come together to support each other with neighbourly acts and random gifts of kindness and for nothing more than a thank you. Whilst we can all look at our own situation and feel that life is unfair, we stay strong for the children we teach and keep communicating the plentiful positives”
I couldn’t have said it better myself, and I just want to say a massive well done and thank you to Elaine and all the staff at Maidenbower Junior School for all their incredibly hard work and above all, selfless, positive attitudes.