One week down

The start of term is always a partially controlled tornado. Lots of new people (both large and small) who don’t know their way around the site, whom they should be meeting with or the routines that should be followed. This year there are the additional complications of Covid controls and a new timetable to cope with, so it was always going to be a bit harder than in a normal year. Add into the mix the fact that most of the boys and girls had not been in a school environment, with their mates, for around 5 months and you have an even more perfect potential storm.

Given that background the start of last week was always going to be very busy and full-on, and so it proved. The Bishop’s site suddenly seemed even smaller than ever, and the population density felt much higher that I anticipated, but even so the cog wheels started to turn through the day, queues formed and dispersed, students sat in lessons and learning started in earnest. As the week progressed the organisation of the site fitted together better with fewer rough edges and by Friday it felt much more like business as usual. I take nothing for granted though – the staff will be finding this hard, with a brand new timetable and teaching locations that are not necessarily in their departmental areas. The risk assessment will need to be reviewed and revised on a weekly basis as we find things that don’t work or discover better ways of managing either risk or perception of risk. Though we are operating within the remit of the government guidance throughout, like all educational institutions we are having to wrestle with conflicting priorities from different sections of the BWS Community. Our students, like youngsters across the country find it hard to comprehend the concept of social distancing; its hard enough for us adults isn’t it? For 11-18 year olds it is really tricky to remember to keep your distance, and constant reminders are needed.

So far so good then, but in this post-lockdown life we all have more to learn yet.