This September witnessed the return to school of our school children. Parents, grandparents and teachers are quite naturally anxious about how this return to school could be accomplished.
Our schools are led by highly trained professional people, whose role in school is to manage the education of our children and to provide resources to enable teachers to manage and lead the learning of our children.
As one reads the various websites of our local schools it is apparent that a great deal of time, effort and thought has been devoted to developing some excellent educational resources to assist on line learning. The return to school after such a lengthy absence has necessitated schools to produce informative and reassuring information for parents and pupils detailing the ways in which schools have developed new and innovative ways of providing the essential educational opportunities our children need. Our school leaders have risen admirably to the challenge.
Those of us who are not aware of the changes to the structure of the school day need to be aware of how these changes will impact on our local community. The school day has a staggered start and end to the day. This means that year groups enter and leave the school premises at different times. Some parents of primary school children may have a number of children in different year groups, requiring them to wait outside on the pavement in the morning and evening as they wave goodbye or greet their child at the end of the school day. The pavements around our schools will naturally be more congested especially if social distancing protocol is to be observed. Cars will possibly parked for longer periods as parents wait for up to 30 minutes to collect their offspring from the differing year groups. This will be a feature in our community for some considerable time and we have to become accustomed to it.
The roads too will be busy but be aware also of some children and their parents who want to follow local authority guidelines to walk, scoot or cycle to school. They are trying to do the right thing and we need to be empathetic to the challenges which may face them as they embark upon this new mode of transport. Taking care when driving, adhering to the speed limits and driving with extra vigilance, particularly in the winter months is our responsibility.
We have all witnessed selfish and sometimes unreasonable behaviour of certain individuals during the height of this pandemic. Social media does not help angry rants on Twitter, irrational comments and unsavoury videos on Facebook tend to inflame issues but offer no reasonable solution.
There is no ambiguity about our role at this time. We have to follow Government guidelines, model best practice by our own behaviour. Washing our hands, wearing a mask and keeping our distance should be an essential feature of daily life.
Our schools are open; the playgrounds echo with the happy laughter of our children. The new school day is evolving, some normality is emerging and we must all recognise the part each of us has to play in making it a success for everyone concerned. A little consideration for others would not go amiss in these challenging circumstances.