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Deep and crisp and even ...

25th January 2021

During the course of Sunday morning, right across swathes of the South East, we were covered with a significant fall of snow. Whilst I fully appreciate that snow can present a hazard, inconvenience and even cause hardship – the flurry of snow did possess a magical quality.

Snowfall resets the landscape. Makes us look at things afresh and anew. Seemingly mundane landmarks take on a different quality. Trees, fields, garden sheds and even front garden bins all look different. Given our current winter experiences, it felt more significant. For many of us the chance to be outside, with our family was very welcome. We did not have a screen in sight. We had a chance to just be.

HogsBackSnow2This resetting of our environment echoes in our work this week. I am delighted with our innovative work on delivering our remote education. All schools are fully into their stride and we are now seeing much needed sustenance in our ability to share best practice, useful tools and curriculum approaches.

Our secondary school colleagues have met 3 times as a team to consider remote education and best learning approaches. Staff are undertaking a mammoth task, and I know children and parents are very appreciative of our efforts. It is also important that we seek to maintain our own motivation and explore new strategies. To witness leaders of learning sharing best practice and using these ideas to save on staff workload, inspire students and keep us moving forward encapsulates our trust ethos. Our primary colleagues are also doing the same, building up banks of learning resources and reviewing provision together.

The coming weeks will also see a peer review programme set up to explore our remote learning. Facilitated by our school improvement team, but run by headteachers, we seek to explore our work and look at how we can improve provision, manage staff workload and ensure all children continue to receive high quality learning, whether at home, in school, or a combination of both.

Our snowy landscape forces us to look afresh. Provides a new viewpoint. Assists us in looking again, from a different perspective. Our headteachers and leaders of learning are also looking afresh at our provision. Seeing qualities we may have missed first time and identifying new opportunities to provide our children with the best education we can. Welcome to our winter wonderland.

Jack Mayhew, Executive Headteacher  Athena Schools Trust

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