For church schools, one of the biggest challenges they have faced, aside the logistical problems of maintaining social distancing, has been not being able to hold daily, whole-school, collective worship.
This is a part of the school day that is at the heart of their school community.
Karen Scrivens, the headteacher at Langley Mill Church of England Infant School & Nursery said, “We have had to be very creative in order to continue delivering our special collective worship times within the confines of our school ‘bubbles’ and home learning.
Before the restrictions, music would welcome the children and staff, and set the tone for the worship and there would be a real sense of togetherness.
Collective worship is a very special and distinct part of the school day and I have really missed it.
However, we have used special poems, stories, drawings, photographs and anecdotes both in school and online to help us continue daily worship and reflect on our core values: Aspire, Learn, Respect and Serve.
Throughout we have remembered our school vision to ‘Always be our best for God, each other and ourselves.”
Plenty of positives
Karen said that the school has also had to be quite innovative in finding ways to seek full engagement of all families whilst learning at home.
She said: “We have had to be creative in our approach to reaching families within the home by increasing our social media and online profile and opening up new communication channels whilst also ensuring that families have been supported with resources to complete activities.”
The good news is that there are many positives to come out of the lockdown experience.
Although having to split classes into smaller bubbles and still deliver quality education both in school and at home has been no easy task, Karen is rightly proud of the way the whole school community has united to problem-solve, adapt and change.
She said: “Staff have no doubt increased their IT skills and have planned very carefully to meet the needs of pupils during this unknown time, in age-appropriate and sensitive ways.
The children have all adapted brilliantly and my whole staff team has been amazing.
They have gone over and beyond expectations, with lots of praise from parents and governors”.
Karen’s only great disappointment is that the school will be unable to bid its traditional farewell to the Year 2 pupils who are about to move on.
“Usually,” said Karen, “the end of the infant journey is a special time for our school, marked by a very poignant celebration and church visit.
"This is not possible in these times but we will still send our year twos off with a special goodbye.”