It’s certainly been a challenging time for us all and here at Millfield we have attempted to keep some sense of normality for those children in school and those working at home.
When it looked likely that schools would remain open only for our most vulnerable children and those children of key workers, the Elliot Foundation Trust was swift to act and consider the likelihood of many weeks or months of home learning by creating a Virtual Learning Platform. Teachers created Google classrooms from which children could access a range of activities and assignments to do at home. We knew this would have teething problems so at Millfield we also developed home learning packs for children to complete. It was a difficult situation in that final week of ‘normal’ schooling; numerous staff and pupil absences, knowing that this could be the last day of this academic year and for our Year 6 pupils a milestone not marked in any celebratory way.
However, we picked ourselves up and Millfield opened on Monday 23rd March as a school with a difference. Minimal staff and, with many parents heeding the advice of the Government to only send children as an emergency arrangement, we embarked on a new challenge. Children working from home started on their home learning packs and children in school got to know those who would become their new classmates over the following weeks. Our new ‘class’ ranged from nursery to Y6 but all children coped amazingly well that first day. It was a day with a difference, exercise with Joe Wicks the television celebrity fitness trainer at 9am, making rainbows to show positivity and displaying them outside our school to cheer up passers-by and remind them to stay safe, Chromebooks and Google classroom. With the sun shining on what was a beautiful Spring day, we spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying the fresh air as much as possible. This was the start of the ‘new normal’.
Over the weeks, we spent time each day in our Google classrooms, continued with our reading and quizzes, became fit with our daily workouts, photographed, painted, created, made, danced, sang, forest schooled, baked and made the best of the Spring weather outdoors. Mental wellbeing was something we were eager to protect and we tried to do this through yoga, meditation and relaxation and creating a safe and secure environment. Keeping in contact through our Google classroom meant we could keep contact and support those at home as best we could.
It was also great to see what children at home were doing as parents posted photos on our Friends of Millfield Facebook page. It was difficult to be apart but this helped us feel that we were all still in touch with each other.
As this time draws to a close, hopefully we have come out better people who appreciate what we have; our friends, family and the world around us. We have had to be patient, resilient, independent, considerate, supportive, appreciative, the list is endless. Now we look positively forward to the future.