the weekly newsletter from EHS
27 March 2020
We come to the end of one of the strangest weeks of my teaching career and, indeed, my life. Everyone in the country has experienced a seismic shift in what we called ‘normal’
life, and I can only marvel at how the EHS community from the youngest to the oldest have adapted to our new way of working. Every day brings a new challenge, but the
community embraces that challenge and finds workarounds; new ways of communicating, teaching and providing feedback. There have also been so many uplifting moments this week;
staff and pupils emailing encouraging and motivational messages, watching assemblies that have been recorded and shared, the daily handwashing karaoke and generally keeping
each other’s spirits up.
Clearly, what we have learned to value over the week is face-to-face contact. I have been fortunate to have been here all week and been able to talk to our pupils of critical keyworkers on walks around the grounds at lunchtime (at the requisite distance from each other, of course). Their chatter about their day has been a real tonic and it has made me value, even more, the daily connections we have with each other. I have been asked in the past whether I think that Artificial Intelligence will ever replace teachers. My response to this has always been a resounding ‘no’, because human contact is quite simply invaluable, and I believe that this will never change. We are teaching in a different way at the moment, and everyone is working hard, but there isn’t a colleague in the school (or pupil I would hazard a guess) who isn’t counting the days to when we can be back in the classrooms teaching and learning face-to-face. The school is quiet, the silence broken only by the bell that sounds the next lesson, and it is the oddest feeling to know that there is no movement in the corridors, and that I won’t hear the voices of the pupils as they come past my office on the way to their next lesson. However, the bell will remain, even though I can turn it off; it is a symbol that the EHS community, although physically separated at the moment, is still very much together in other ways.
There is still a great deal that is unclear for our Year 11 and Year 13 in terms of examination grades, and we all hope for some clarity on this next week. For Year 13 it was not the ending to their time at EHS they had imagined and, quite rightly, much of Friday Headlines is dedicated to them, with the inclusion of pictures from last Friday and some of the thoughts of Year 13 about EHS. I have promised Year 13 a ‘proper’ farewell when the whole community is together again and I very much look forward to that time. It would also be lovely to share some pictures on Friday Headlines of your children completing the activities that have been set by EHS; it would definitely contribute to our sense of togetherness and our ability to connect in different ways. If you are happy to send in pictures to be included then please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org