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New normal?

27th April 2020

The ‘new normal’ seems to be a phrase appearing everywhere at the moment. At AST there is no doubt we are working hard to maintain the ‘new normal’, even though it may still feel strange. I sense this is a feeling shared across the country, currently.

Our AST ‘new normal’ still consists of children receiving on-line learning and completing virtual lessons. I am immensely grateful for the work of our teaching staff, led by our headteachers, to coordinate learning for children from 4-19 years old. The specifics of curriculum delivery for A level physicists and early years’ children differ widely, and so do the variety of methods required to plan and deliver effective curriculum content and engagement.

Our ‘new normal’ still sees weekly headteacher meetings, School Business Manager get-togethers, Trust board meetings and local governance sessions. Indeed, I am delighted that our governor training session is taking place tonight with such full attendance. Finances and budget setting demands remain, and we are pleased to continue to support local governing bodies as a Trust through this training.

Admission arrangements are still being made, budgets being set, pastoral support provided, and families are being supported. This is our new normal – I am proud of this work and our ability to grapple with the benefits and constraints of new technology. We continue to provide for the children and families in our care.

New NormalA phased return to the ‘old normal’ may seem some way off. Until then we will keep the values of our Trust clear; local leadership, collaboration, learning and aspiration ... all ensuring we are better together. There is much conjecture about whether the old normal is possible. I suggest this is the passage of time, and events, big and small, have always affected our future. I guess they always will.

Jack Mayhew, Executive Headteacher  Athena Schools Trust

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