We started this academic year in school, in class bubbles, with assemblies online and separate playtimes becoming the norm. In the Autumn Term, despite the COVID restrictions in place, we celebrated Black History Day, Remembrance Day, the chagim, Anti-Bullying week and Interfaith Day, as well as running E-Safety workshops. With thanks to the ongoing hard work of the PTA, the Chanukah Shuk was able to take place and was adapted so that it was COVID safe and children did not miss out on this wonderful event. We also enjoyed a week of Chanukah celebrations to end 2020 in style!
Then came 2021, and we started the Spring Term with online learning. The school remained open for children of key workers, vulnerable children and Nursery children. Yet again, very quickly and smoothly, the staff transitioned from teaching in the classroom to teaching online.
In these unprecedented times, North West has shown tremendous strength and determination. Education moved from the classroom to online through Zoom sessions, teaching videos and online worksheets. Headteacher Challenges were sent out weekly as were Kabbalat Shabbat assemblies.
To all our parents: they say that the hardest thing to do is to teach your own children, yet for the Spring Term you all stepped up and did just that, so thank you and Kol hakavod! Thank you for your continued support throughout the year.
Great news came when it was announced that children could return to school on 8 March. Whilst returning to school may sound like a very simple thing, it is testament to all our staff – senior management, teachers, support staff, the office, kitchen, cleaning and security – that we could do this as smoothly and calmly as we did. This was no mean feat. Three timetables running across the school so that bubbles did not meet, four lunch sittings and seven clean-downs in between the lunch sittings, hourly cleaning checks in place and staff not crossing bubbles all takes up considerable time and planning, which adds pressure to what staff already have to do. And so I take this opportunity of thanking all my staff, in whatever capacity or role they played, for supporting me in getting the school open and ready for business.
Back in school for the end of the Spring Term and for the full Summer Term, we celebrated Book Day, the Chinese New Year and International Women’s Day. We have also had Wellbeing Day, Super Hero Day and Science Day. A week of sport-related activities in honour of the European Championships included a free-styler. Classes also had the opportunity to visit the Year 6 Enterprise Fair. Despite being on Zoom, the Nursery, Reception and Year 6 Graduations were all tear jerkers that displayed the children’s remarkable achievements over this past academic year.
Staff, Governors, Trustees, Parents and Children – thank you for all your hard work and support this year. It has truly been appreciated. North West is a family and this year, in the most trying of circumstances, everyone has really stepped up and supported each other. Together, we have made it to the end of this academic year and we should be exceptionally proud of what we have achieved.