Wow, that’s it. The last day of school for the 2020-2021 school year. And what a year it’s been!
From the countdown last September, through an almost-immediate COVID scare, Christmas and another round of home learning, more school holidays in lockdown over February half term, and then back to in-school learning (thank goodness).
The boys have taken all the weirdness and new challenges in their stride, we’re immensely proud of how they’ve coped and adapted both to learning at home and then back at school again. Their teachers seem similarly pleased with them, as well as all the other children of course, as their reports came home this week.
We’ve still been in school this last week as we had two weeks holiday at May half term, so it’s been a long slog to the end. Then the poor boys will be back in school at sports club at 9am on Monday morning.
Large boy – year 4
Large boy’s teacher says that he’s been lovely to teach, is eager to learn and share his knowledge. The headteacher’s comment that he is popular with his classmates and always has a bit smile on his face means so much to us. Both himself and I have felt isolated and like misfits in our past, so it’s wonderful to know that large boy is getting on well, happy, and has firm friendships.
Unsurprisingly, large boy’s academic achievements reflect his thirst for learning and he has an excellent or good attitude across the board. Given that he was essentially abandoned to home learning on his own, in his bedroom with his Pi, an ancient screen and hastily purchased camera and speaker system; that he kept on top of his work and continued to learn through lockdown is testament to his growing maturity.
As usual, his teacher’s constructive feedback is gentle and encouraging – he needs to listen more and be patient, instead of rushing headlong into his work before fully understanding the task. I’m not sure there’s a lot of hope for him there, I was the same at school and I still suffer the same impatience to get started even now.
Small boy – year 1
Small boy’s teacher started off his report commenting on how smiley and happy he is – what a joy to hear! He’s met all his targets with the expected level of achievement or better in all areas, but even better his effort is excellent across the board. This is the boy who hated home learning, who cried almost every day and had to contend with his parents ill-suited abilities to perform as teachers.
He’s also pretty much the youngest in his class, he left the early years framework at the end of reception last summer still “working towards” some of the 60 month (5 year old) targets. So this school year, despite all the disruption, he’s caught up on his age-related targets and even surpassed some of them. He aced his phonics screening with 100% score and his maths is coming along nicely at last. His teacher even says that he’s resilient and responds to feedback by correcting mistakes – that’s not the child who was home learning with me or who has practiced his spellings at our kitchen table for the last couple of months. I’m so glad to hear that, at school, he is adaptable and secure.
The best feedback his teacher has though is his kindness, she says that he’s a role model and never wants to see his class mates sad or lonely, that he’s gone out of his way to welcome new children. I’m beyond proud to hear how empathetic he is.
The achievements and ability to cope with change that our boys have shown this school year aren’t only down to their own characters and efforts. The school staff, from the head teacher, to the class teachers and TAs, the dinner staff, the school club helpers, the caretaker, and the office staff – they’ve all contributed to the children at our school being able to get through this difficult year of back and forth learning at school or over Zoom at home. They’ve reassured the children and parents alike, communicated (mostly) what’s going on and supported us all. They’re amazing.
That’s why we send in lovely gifts at the end of the summer term, we want to say a heartfelt thank you.
How was yours?
How have you, your kids and your schools coped with this school year? Are you as relieved to get a break as us?