By Jo Corrigan, Director of Primary
Since March 2020 when COVID-19 first began to have an impact on the education of children and young people throughout the world I have been proud to work alongside so many inspirational school leaders in the UK who have rapidly responded to local and national challenges, created new approaches to teaching and learning and strengthened relationships between families and schools. This global pandemic has brought school leaders much closer together and I feel privileged to have facilitated opportunities for them to collaborate and learn from each other.
As we look ahead to 2021 our goal should not be to ‘get back to normal’ but to reflect upon and respond to our experience over the last 9 months and consider what this could mean for our vision for the future of learning in our schools and more widely in society.
We have a fantastic range of WE Inspire virtual events planned for the Spring term, starting with an inspirational keynote from Lord Chris Holmes MBE on 13th January. Chris has a truly inspirational life story to share with WE school leaders. His positive attitude, mindset and strong leadership will inspire you all as you make future plans for your school community. Chris was Director of Paralympic Integration at the London 2012 Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and is a former Paralympic swimmer who won nine gold, five silvers and one bronze medal across four Games, including a record haul of six golds at Barcelona 1992! Throughout the term we will also be hearing from leaders of schools around the country with strong practice in relation to: social and emotional learning, well being, curriculum development, approaches to teaching and learning of Maths and Reading to name a few.
School leaders involved with our ‘leading a whole education – primary’ programme have confirmed their focus for the year ahead and it is great to hear about how their projects have evolved following their first coaching call. I am looking forward to our ‘visits’ to Braunstone Frith and Bottisham Primary Schools early this term.
Throughout the Spring term, teachers who are engaged in the WE Lab Classroom programme will be trialling their nominated approach to teaching and learning in their classrooms and we look forward to hearing more about the impact of these approaches in the Summer term.
Personally I am looking forward to a time when we can see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, a positive impact from the COVID-19 vaccination and fewer restrictions placed upon our daily lives. We have so many inspirational schools in the WE network and I am looking forward to visiting you all and showcasing your high quality whole education on a national scale!