Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 29th January 2021
One of the themes of the Covid-19 pandemic and our lockdowns has been trying to find the positives in an otherwise very difficult situation. This is much easier said than done, but over the past few months we have talked a lot about slowing down, appreciating those things that we used to take for granted, and working out ways that we can improve our lives when they are able to return to normal. One other positive that we can take out of the situation, though it may not seem it at the time, is the way it has made us rethink how we do what used to seem like easy day-to-day tasks.
When it comes to remote learning, there are many things that need to be transplanted from the automatic to the new way of doing things. The boys are very used to handing in their books by collecting them up at the end of the lesson. Now most of them are handing in their work via the VLE (and getting a sprinkling of virtual confetti when they do so). Just sitting in a lesson is a very different experience when using headphones and the mute button, or saying ‘can you hear me?’ or ‘you’re on mute’ endless times. The NCS teachers, too, are doing a sterling job when it comes to having to think through different ways of doing the same old things. Scanning and uploading resources, sitting in front of a camera, marking online – when we’d all, of course, rather be doing it how we do it in person. But there’s no point getting frustrated about it. Rather, we should do what we can to embrace these changes and to celebrate the ‘nimble thinking’ that comes when we just have to be flexible, when we have no choice but to adapt to a new way of doing things. There is no point stamping our feet or trying to replicate our old habits, just with an added iPad or iMac. There is a certain thrill to getting everything humming along in a different way; it is an enforced guard against complacency and the age-old temptation to say ‘well, it’s worked this way for years so we might as well keep doing it that way’.