Here at St Joseph's we are very proud of how we have responded to the huge challenges Covid-19 has brought, and continues to bring, to the education of the children in our care. While September 2020 has seen a full reopening of the school, in reality we were never closed - just further apart. Throughout the 2020 summer term lessons were taught and teachers set, marked and returned high quality work across both the Junior and Senior sides of the school.
The move to Teams was highly successful and we made full use of the Pupil Portal and the excellent IT skills our pupils have been taught. In Seniors we continued with 6 lessons a day, every day, with no teaching staff furloughed and all working remotely. This included live tutor times, live lessons and excellent use of videos made by staff, both through our YouTube channel, iMovie and facilities in Teams. Assemblies proved popular, and children were engaged throughout - including some House Activity Days and great PSHEE activities.
In the Junior School, pupils benefitted from live morning registration and high-quality work in Maths, Numeracy and a wide range of topic work. Younger children enjoyed their live show and tell sessions, as well as talking with their friends and teachers via Teams and sending and receiving their work online.
As soon as we were able, we brought the children back to school. From June 1st we reopened fully to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, and from June 22nd we applied all we had learnt from this logistic and educational challenge and brought back Years 2, 3, 4 and 5. Using the space afforded by the Junior and Senior school sites, we were able to maintain their consistent bubbles and separate play areas, and even provide hot food to every child, every day.
Following thorough risk assessment, we also brought Year 10 back to school both for the final two weeks of term, and additionally for an additional week of exams in the first week of what would in ordinary circumstances be the school holidays. Finally, we brought each of years 7, 8 and 9 back for one day each to ensure they had contact with staff and one another before the summer, a challenge we took on to ensure the best care for our pupils.
All this was managed with full attention to the health and safety of everyone concerned.