Reflecting on the positives

As parents turn their attention to the return to school, two prep school headteachers – Colin Baty and Alastair Speers – have shared with Attain their reflections on some of the positive aspects families have found during the current lockdown.

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23rd February 2021 — As families begin to prepare for the full return of schools on 8th March, many will be hoping to preserve some of the silver-linings they have experienced during lockdown.

"Now is a great opportunity for our families to have a really good think about what they value and to actually spend some time reflecting on the positives," says Alastair Speers of Sandroyd School.

"There have been challenging times but it's a great chance to reflect on the positives from lockdown."

Many families will have enjoyed extra time together, especially at meal times or through regular walks.

"Still have those evening suppers, if you can," reflects Colin Baty of Bedales Prep.

"[It's] really, really important to de-filter the day... and find out what's going on."

Some parents who previously commuted have been working from home and may wish to continue a similar pattern even when restrictions are lifted.

But for those parents who will have to return to commuting, many schools will be adapting events, such as parents evenings, to enable them to attend remotely and still feel connected.

Colin Baty and Alastair Speers reflect on some of the silver-linings of lockdown for families.

One unexpected benefit of lockdown has been to enable parents to get a much greater insight into lessons and teaching.

"One thing that streaming lessons has allowed parents to do is to have an eye on their children's education and that's been hugely positive," says Alastair Speers.

"And from speaking to other Heads, it's been a great experience as the parents realise just how good the teaching is – so from a marketing point of view, it's been absolutely wonderful!"

Colin Baty agrees: "Now you can go and watch a recording of your child's lesson – which is amazing... And it also keeps the staff on their toes as well!"

And with this greater insight has also been a greater appreciation of the work of teachers.

"The trust that parents have in schools now has grown," concludes Alastair Speers.

"They have seen first-hand how good the teaching is and that they will be able to take a step back at the same time."

Colin Baty of Bedales Prep School and Alastair Speers of Sandroyd School were talking to Attain's Editor, Matthew Smith.

You can listen to the full interview in Episode 18 of Fresh Thinking, Attain's weekly podcast for parents.

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