Reply To: COVID-19 School Closures

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    I am Senco in an age 3-18 international school and we shut last week. My team of Learning support teachers are maintaining regular contact with students across the school but obviously it looks very different with primary school and Middle and High school students. We are using Google classroom and Goole Meets to have regular lessons, following the regular timetable with Middle and High school, and fitting in Primary students around those. It is particularly challenging because we also have our own children at home, and my husband is working from home, so there are a lot of different needs in a small house. Our students all have very different needs and situations too. The only child of a non-working parents is having a very different experience than one of three siblings both of whose parents work. Our team of support assistants are involved in various ways, and it has been challenging to ensure that there is ‘meaningful educational input’ every day for some of our youngest SEND children.
    Less is more is important as I think we have totally overwhelmed some parents and children (not to mention teachers), and as much structure and routine as possible. We’ve been recommended to set ourself ‘office hours’ where parents or children can contact us, otherwise you’ll burn out very quickly.
    One issue that keeps coming up as I talk with teachers and students is that everybody is complaining of headaches – if you’re spending all day sat at a computer, with no break time, no moving between classrooms etc. it is a recipe for disaster. We’ve been talking with teachers a lot about those practicalities, how to keep the kids moving, getting outside, connecting with each other virtally, not sitting in their bedrooms for 8 hours a day, and the same for teachers.
    It is very challenging. Good luck.