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In an uncertain world, cling onto the things that matter

2nd November 2020

Welcome back to the return to school after the half term. I hope you and your teams enjoyed a well-earned rest and the chocolate provided by all at Athena by way of thanks and appreciation.

Returning to school is currently in the midst of uncertain times. It is possible that these times can be unnerving, disorienting and confusing for staff and students alike. We are unclear as to what may be asked of us as a profession when we enter this second period of lockdown. What we do know is that schools and education are going to be asked to continue provision. This is something we agree with. However, we do recognise that the concerns raised by headteachers’ unions regrading funding, assessment arrangements, safety and support, still require answers. It may be some time before we receive these. You can rely upon our Trust to make this case to regional and political voices, those in education and beyond.

Despite this, our case for optimism and perseverance remain stronger than ever. As a set of leaders, staff and governors we set a proud stall out last half term, and previously, and we will do so again.

When faced with uncertainty it is beneficial to focus on the important aspects we can control. We must cling onto the things that matter, amidst the noise and distraction. Schools are people places. Continue to cherish, care and support each other – we will strive to do the same. Without people we are nothing.

Furthermore, focus on the classroom. On pedagogy. On learning. Continue to set children challenging work. Learning that inspires and takes risks. Hold hope for better. It could be easy in these uncertain times to play it safe. To expect less or at least ‘go through the motions’. I know our leaders, schools, children and governors – and that is not our way.

If we focus on the things that are important, pour our energies into supporting one another and making the classroom (whether online or in school) the best place we can, all will be well. We are aware of further challenges along the road. We acknowledge that our endeavours will be questioned, however cling onto the things that matter:

  • Education
  • Learning
  • Community
  • Each other

Have a great half term. Together we will make it a great one.

Jack Mayhew, Executive Headteacher  Athena Schools Trust

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