We caught up with Sally-Ann Harding, Head of Rydal Penrhos Senior School, to give us some thoughts on the lockdown and the significant plans in place for next week’s reopening.
Rydal Penrhos School has delivered an online curriculum via Microsoft Teams and Show My Homework since the beginning of the lockdown.
We are now abuzz with excitement at having our pupils back in school again. The planning for the re-opening has been a lengthy process as we wanted to ensure the school would operate as safely and efficiently as possible.
The plans are for individual years to have dedicated buildings and days of the week and to be taught within their bubbles.
Blended learning will take place which will see the core subjects taught within the school, this will involve English, Maths and Science and the rest of the subjects will be taught remotely.
There are also plans in place for plentiful time to be spent outdoors both during the teaching of the core and during sports sessions.
We are incredibly lucky to have such vast grounds where our pupils can enjoy the open spaces available, whilst remaining safe.
The New Field complex, along with the astroturf and sports hall will give everyone a chance to enjoy some sport in the fresh air.
The inside of the buildings will be thoroughly cleaned each day and a Fogging device has been purchased to enhance this further.
The decision was taken to extend the school term for an extra two weeks as this will enable the pupils to refresh themselves with the school experience and give them an opportunity to consolidate the learning that has happened remotely.
We have many pupils in all years returning and we are providing transport for those that need it. We will also continue our keyworker provision.
We will also be providing holiday provision for pupils from Pre-School to Year 8, this will be available for the shortened six week holiday. Many of our families are interested in this provision.
We will be providing our pupils with some stimulating lessons which will allow them to be fully engaged in all sorts of projects.
However, remote learning will continue, and our teachers are now even more familiar with the process and have become extremely skilled in all aspects.
In the light of the success of our remote learning, when school resumes in September, our pupils will notice some very significant changes to the IT provision, with new servers and each pupil provided with new hardware.
This will enable us to continue the excellent work that our teachers have been involved in with the use of IT and enable even more high-quality training to take place.
We will prioritise the wellbeing of our pupils and staff on their return in September and our staff will be given extra training to this end.
Although the last four months have been very difficult indeed for many, the school will hope to build on the period of closure and reflect on all that has gone before to assist us with developing resilience for the future.
Mrs Sally-Ann Harding
Head of Rydal Penrhos Senior School