Keep it simple – do it well

Just Regional
May 25, 2020 3 mins read

Sheringham High School head Andrew Richardson reflects on lessons during lockdown

When I was at school, I played rugby. When at university I played some more and then rowed. I have friends who box, who are footballers, who throw the discus, are free-climbers and canoeists. We all have one thing in common – apart from, as we reach our mid- fifties, a delusional sense of how “great” we once were – and that is the knowledge that to be any good at anything you must do fewer things but do them well! If you weigh 18 stone and can only run 30 yards reasonably quickly (me… just)…. you’re a prop! Don’t over-complicate it.

The same is true of remote learning during lockdown and SHS parents have done a fantastic job. Why, because they have been pragmatic and done the simple things well. They have “put their oxygen masks on first” in the sense that they have looked at what is REALISTIC in a busy household and kept it sane. They have looked at what has been said by teachers and acted upon it. They have focused on what NEEDS to be covered. They have tried to submit the work so it gets marked – after all there’s no point in doing it if nobody takes notice. They have done what they can, given the tech issues. They have tried to make it all a little bit fun!

As a school we could have tried to be all-singing and all-dancing with hourly, live Zoomed lessons into which all students in all classes must log between 9am and 3pm, but that would mean uber-tech connectivity and turning houses into classrooms.

Homes aren’t classrooms and, while many teachers are parents, most parents aren’t classroom teachers. So, we have struck a balance over the last nine weeks – teachers have  set work knowing what has worked in the past, what might work in the weird present and what could and should be useful in the unpredictable future.

It’s all a gamble based on teacher expertise and a willing parental partnership. What is sure, just like I’m not a flying fly-half, is that we won’t walk back into the same classrooms we left in March with the same young people and the same staff. We have all been changed by this pandemic but we have all learned a valuable lesson; do the simple things WELL!

More of what's happening in Sheringham