Schools of Thought…

This week’s Provocative Question from Fandango asks:-

Do you believe that children should be required to return to school for the new school year?

Of my six grandchildren, the eldest is 18 and has already left school and the youngest is not quite two years old, so has not yet reached school age. But by the time our schools return here in Scotland on 11th August, we will have two five-year-olds due to make the important move from nursery to their first year in primary school, a seven-year-old with ongoing health problems beginning his third year, and a nine-year-old starting her fifth year in primary school.

All of our school-age grandchildren are really looking forward to attending school in person next month, but are understandably worried about the virus. They’ve missed their friends and have missed their teachers but know that lockdown happened to everyone to help stop people getting sick and dying. They have been keeping up as far as possible with schooling online, but it’s inevitably been a bit patchy over time and not quite the same as being full time in their purpose-built learning environment.

Scotland has chosen to have a much longer period of lockdown than England before starting to ease restrictions, and thankfully for now our levels of new infections and deaths are relatively low so we are in a position where schools returning full time is not such a contentious issue as it may be in some other countries. However contingency plans are still in place to allow for a differently organised ‘blended learning’ approach if this becomes necessary due to a resurgence of infection in the future.

So right now I must admit I feel pleased that schools here are returning soon, and as long as adequate safety measures are in place for all students and staff I think it is definitely the right thing to do here in Scotland. The children are keen to be back in their usual learning routine, five months has been a long time for them to feel like they have been missing out. They are happy to be at home, but are happy to be out at school too. They like their little bit of independence and the support of their peer group.

Too much longer away from school and I would probably fear their emotional health might begin to be seriously compromised, but children are generally resilient creatures with an elasticity of expectation and experience leading to an easy adaptability and acceptance of ‘what is’ that we have somehow lost as adults. The hope is they will catch up as their schooling progresses, make up for lost time, start to feel secure again in life. Hopefully lockdown will have provided a different type of lesson to be learned long-term.

But would I be feeling the same if I lived elsewhere? Probably not…

8 thoughts on “Schools of Thought…

  1. If, like yours in Scotland, our levels in the States of new infections and deaths were relatively low, I think a lot of us on this side of the pond would feel the same way you do, but thanks to the ineptitude of the Trump Administration in managing this pandemic, that is not the case, so it’s a big conundrum for parents of school aged children in many parts of our country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have three who work in Education. The school where my son teaches has opened the doors to certain year groups and so far all is well. Number three daughter’s school is the same, but the oldest daughter’s school has taken every year group back but they work in half class bubbles. Mon and Tues they take half one half of each class, Wed is cleaning day plus teacher’s prep and planning because online home schooling still goes on. Thurs and Fri takes the other half of the classes. They’ve been doing this for a few weeks and it’s been very successful but especially with parents.
    We’re told that children are rarely affected by the virus which is good to hear. It will be compulsory for all children to be back in school by September, but a lot can happen between now and then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because our school terms run differently here our kids are all technically in their summer holidays now, and August is their usual return time. When we saw them the other day they were full of excitement about who their new teachers will be next term, catching up with their friends again and who is going to be in whose class – it was lovely to see them so animated about it all 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Ruth, I can imagine that. And it must have been wonderful for you to see them again

        When one of my five-year-old granddaughters went back she was thrilled to bits. The headteacher saught out my daughter to tell her that Evie had spent the whole day with a beaming smile on her face! Another daughter refused to send hers back.
        Our schools finish again at the end of this week. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband’s family are in Louisiana so we regularly follow the news over there – and you gave a very comprehensive answer, well said! 🙂

      Like

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