Who could have conceived back in December 2019, that three months later, every school in the country would be closed? When the news came through about closure, many schools had to put into practice an online home schooling scheme that would not only work technologically, but also provide the pupils with an education that was rewarding and enriching.
I must admit, probably like many other schools, and parents, that we were concerned as to whether we could deliver a sustained education. However, my concerns were put to one side as a watched the teaching staff at The Village Prep step up to work throughout the Easter holidays, ensuring that we were ready to go at the start of term. I have been heartened by the response from pupils and parents:
“When home schooling started, I really thought it would be a complete nightmare with parents having to spend all day helping, but they (the pupils) are actually learning and progressing. Our teacher is managing to make the class interactive, serious and fun all at the same time.” (Year 1/Upper 1 parent)
We set down an aim to provide as many live lessons as possible so that the day would resemble, as closely as possible, a pupil’s normal school day. This meant registration, where teachers and pupils could discuss the day ahead; live lessons in every subject; homework involving a wider range of activities; reading sessions; assemblies; sport; cookery; art and music.
“I wanted to thank you for the home learning provision that you and your extremely dedicated staff are providing. It is definitely a source of ‘normalcy’ in these uncertain times.” (Year 2/ Transition parent)
The situation has really allowed the imagination of pupils’ and teachers’ to soar. They have been involved in creating a world record in art; forming online choirs with different classes; going on virtual tours to museums and musical events; playing a range of sports; cooking a wide variety of tasty food; mathematical competitions, creative writing and many different science experiments happening in the households in NW3!
“We wanted to drop you a note to thank you and all the teachers for your amazing learning environment. We can only imagine the amount of preparation that goes into the schedule and lesson content. Imaginative and immensely encouraging. When we compare this with friends who have children (at other schools), we can say that what you are offering seems to be a cut above other comparable schools.” (Year 5/Upper II parents)
“We honestly do not think you could have done a better job of making the very best from the current situation.” (Year 5/Upper II parent)
It has been a privilege to be the Headmaster of such a wonderful school, at this challenging time, where I have watched the entire community come together to ensure that the education of our girls’ has not had to be compromised because of a worldwide pandemic.
Thank you everyone.
Graeme Delaney, former Head