Our schools begin the return to another 'new normal'
Posted: Tue, 09 Mar 2021 16:30
We are extremely proud of our Salesian schools, their staff and students, all of whom have worked so hard to manage within the constraints placed on them to keep everyone safe, and this week's phased return for students in England has of course presented its own challenges. Preparations have been made and plans created to put the practical elements in place and to provide additional emotional and spiritual support as the changes begin - which is just as important as teaching and academic support. (Photo: Mr Whitehead's video checklist for returning to school)
Most schools had already created areas for Lateral Flow Testing before the most recent lockdown began, and these were updated as needed ready for pre-return testing to take place. Mr Dunne, Headteacher of St John Bosco College Battersea and Mr Kibble, Head of Salesian School Chertsey, created reassuring videos to take the anxiety out of self-testing at school, which are also helpful to any of us who need to do this in different contexts.
It is natural that students may feel a little apprehensive, and disconnected from their previous routine after another long time away from school. Thornleigh Salesian College Bolton managed to settle any nerves with a humorous approach to getting sorted for coming back, in a video featuring teacher Mr Whitehead (sporting a somewhat ill-fitting school blazer). Thornleigh also issued a video as part of a preparation and wellbeing day last week, with reassuring messages and ideas from teaching staff to help students look forward happily to coming back together , and Salesian Chertsey published a video with tips for parents on helping children who may feel anxious to prepare to return.
In a personal video message to students, Mr Gidman, Head of St John Bosco Arts College Croxteth, reminded students that school is not the same without them, and that they needn't feel anxious about returning, because 'it's like coming home … we're all one Salesian family, we're all there for each other.'
To all of our Salesian schools: you are in our prayers, and we are thinking of you as you return to enjoy school life together again.