The national lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic presented the country’s education system with its biggest challenge for generations. Just how schools and colleges have risen to that challenge has been nothing short of inspirational.
And nowhere more so than in our area where imaginative ways of helping children adjust has even included use of nursery rhymes.
When the Government closed schools to pupils of non-key workers on March 20, Tettenhall College welcomed many children of key-workers to the school daily, enabling their parents to continue vital roles in the community.
The school supplied weeks of virtual learning across all year groups for remaining pupils who were confined to home.
Then, when there was a partial re-opening for certain years, the school carried out a major health and safety operation.
“Following a comprehensive and meticulous deep clean of the entire school campus, the school commissioned an independent risk assessor to review the plans for both Prep and Senior School sites,” Headmaster Chris McAllister explained.The school rolled out a staggered start and finish time for the Nursery, Pre-School, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6 pupils. This minimised the volume of parents and children arriving and departing at any one time.
“In addition, our Senior School welcomed Year 10 and Year 12 pupils back, adopting the same high levels of health and safety,” Mr McAllister said. One-way systems across the campus aided social distancing while allocated break and lunchtimes in the dining hall were scheduled. Washroom facilities were thoroughly cleaned several times a day and the whole campus deep cleaned at the end of every school day. Additional hand sanitisers were installed and social distancing tape marked out key areas.
“Major areas of the campus were accessible to create as ‘close to normality’ for the returning pupils, whilst ensuring that the health, safety and positive wellbeing of the staff and pupils were paramount, at all times.
They videoed a tour of the school together with an introduction to staff who all read a favourite nursery rhyme.
“One of the most significant days in a child’s educational journey is that first day of school – it is important to get it right,” Head teacher Martin Stott said.”I am proud of the staff for thinking of innovative ways to reach families and help them prepare for the milestone during these difficult times.”
Longing for normality
Normality is something that we are all craving at the moment. That’s the view of Tettenhall College Head Chris McAllister. “To those who have been personally affected by this global pandemic, I and all of us at Tettenhall College, send our warmest thoughts, sympathies and best wishes,” he says.Tettenhall College has remained open throughout lockdown and, as restrictions have eased, has now successfully welcomed back children in nursery, reception, year one and year six classes.“To see young learners eagerly and excitedly return to the welcoming care of their class teachers has been truly heartening and gives huge encouragement that we are on the steady approach back to a full school.
The school year 2020-21 will see Tettenhall College at its finest.
“Whilst day to day focus is centred around delivering the very highest levels of tailored learning via online methods, plus direct contact between tutors and students, we are eagerly planning for the 2020-21 academic year with innovation and development at its heart. The transition process for our new entrants is well under way and scholarships for our Sixth Form are now being finalised. Our admissions team happily remain very busy and it is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to introduce Tettenhall College to new enquirers.