I know this is my second reference to Freddie and Queen in as many weeks but I couldn’t resist the temptation!
One dawn, one soul, one prize, one goal
One shaft of light that shows the way
The bell that rings inside your mind
Is challenging the doors of time
In September at Escola Global our first priorities were to reopen and establish the new routines and ways of working. This hasn’t taken as long as we thought as most youngsters are pretty adaptable and have very different priorities from adults. They are less worried about masks and more concerned about practical issues. The positive thing is that we are now back and established in our school community with all the benefits that brings. New ways are no longer new, they are just how we do things now.
Yes, it is true to say that in a school like Escola Global, students and staff are faced with a very different and more restrictive classroom environment but the great outdoors and beyond beckons and there are so many opportunities to be grasped.
It is time to notice the kind of magic that is beginning to happen now our youngsters are back in school, and for me this reached a peak last week.
Almost from the start of term, innovative and exciting sporting activities were happening outside. Although for the first few days the focus was on recognising what couldn’t be done, once the regulations were understood these sorry thoughts were rapidly replaced by a refocus on what could be done.
Games like ‘sporty balloons and ‘bottle-ball volleyball’ have become commonplace. Developing skills in skateboarding and using scooters is promoting a healthy lifestyle, a better understanding of safety and is good fun too.
However for me ‘the one shaft of light that showed the way’ was the batch of photographs I was sent after our older primary students had their first visit to the Climbing Wall at Rocadrom at Es Cau.
Our inspired sports team had organised this visit as part of our primary PE curriculum and last week off they all went to spend the afternoon on the wall.
Our youngsters reported that the instructor was great. They learnt about different climbing styles and techniques, they loved discovering about individual and paired climbing and learning the different terminology. They learnt how to warm up and use their muscles in different ways but also that it is not as easy as it looks!
When I received the photographs of our youngsters having such a wonderful time climbing in pairs, climbing round corners and hanging upside down, totally focused on learning a new skill it was definitely ‘a kind of magic’. One of our climbers described his experience as ‘Insanely Cool’ and on reflection I am inclined to agree!
However this is more than magic. It is proof (as you can see for yourselves) that this doesn’t need to be a time to ‘wait for the normality to come back into our lives’. It can be a time to branch out and look at our world differently, perhaps even turn things upside down a bit? These are the days of our children’s lives and they will never get them back. We need to get to grips with what we can do to make these some of the best days of their young lives and help them make good memories.
For all of us, the advantages of having youngsters back in school and working together as a community become more obvious every day.
For all the grown ups, staff and families, our challenge is to do everything we can to keep our schools and our classrooms open. Like all schools, if there is a need for some of us to be quarantined we have a blended learning programme ready but we know the best place to be is together in school.
So, let us go forwards making sure that our youngsters don’t look back at these times with ‘sadness’ but rather with ‘gladness’. And let us grown ups work a little bit harder to deliver ‘a kind of magic’!