Throughout the pandemic, the wellbeing of our students, their families and our staff has been a priority.
Whilst students were engaged with online learning at home, our Student Support Team made significant efforts to remain in touch; the Student Google noticeboard was updated each day with inspiring messages and challenges, and students received welfare telephone calls home. There were also bespoke online nurture sessions, delivered by the Inclusion Team, for our more vulnerable students. Our school counsellor continued to delivered urgent sessions via the telephone as well as face to face. Our small school ran throughout the pandemic for our students with EHCPs, social workers, and other issues which deemed them to be more vulnerable and benefit from attending school in person. Social stories were delivered to students who we anticipated may find the transition back to school, with altered routines and expectations a challenge, and these were very successful. We were determined to remain connected to our students, and embraced a number of creative ways to do so: from quizzes and challenges, to Pets' Corner, competitions, Nature shares and much more. In the interest of safeguarding, we provided all students with an email address with which they could communicate directly with their Year Coordinators. Alongside the Google classroom, where students would reach out for support, this was highly effective.
Despite a return to face to face learning since March 2021, we are aware that some of our students have found the pandemic more of a challenge than others; we continue to focus on raising awareness of oracy and articulacy, as we have noticed that some students seem to have regressed in terms of their confidence when articulating their thoughts and ideas, and communicating with confidence. Bespoke support such as intensive school counselling or external referrals also continue for those students who have suffered to come to grips with bereavements or challenges with their mental wellbeing.