Focus on Education February 2021 No.3

“I feel I have done nothing, when I am doing everything.” So said a nurse earlier this week as she expressed her guilt over her inability to save lives, despite giving all in her power to do so.

It is now over a year since we grew concerned over the return of our Ski trip to Italy and the links to the outbreak of Covid in Europe.  For most of us, it has been a battle ever since one which, from one day to the next, we have alternately been winning or losing. At the best of times, most of us are not immune to self-doubt or imposter syndrome, especially when we stop to think about the role entrusted to us, either in our work or simply as a responsible parent. Over the past year, however, many of us will have summoned all our hidden reserves of resilience and energy, and we may still have ended up with a feeling of inadequacy, when faced with the enormity of the challenges before us.

Whatever we feel, every effort we make in this marathon does of course make a difference, both for ourselves and for those around us. I said to staff at the beginning of term that this pandemic would clearly have a lasting impact, but that so too would all their efforts on behalf of our students. I have been humbled by their dedication as a team, and by their determination to give of their best – and we have all been proud of the ways in which our students have responded.

I have received some lovely feedback from parents and staff including this summarised snap shot:

“Whilst there hasn’t been much to look forward to during these unpredictable times, we just wanted to share some positive feedback at how well you and the staff at HGS have navigated through it all. When restrictions are eventually lifted, hopefully we can all enjoy happier times being less socially distant, with a good cuppa!”

It was the last bit I particularly appreciated, as I am sure we all long for the day when we can again savour the simple pleasure of sharing a cup of tea with a friend.

In the meantime, I know our students were ready for a break.  As a family, you are unlikely to have had many plans, but I hope that means you were able to take at least some time out simply to relax with one another: “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” (Sydney J Harris)

As the snow melts and disappears until next year and the snowdrops bloom, let us all look forward to the return of spring and an ever-improving, sunnier outlook.

We will be in touch again as soon as we know what the return to school will look like after the Prime Minister’s press conference tonight.

Stay well and safe.

Be kind to yourself and each other.

Dr Bird