It never rains but it … snows

Another week passes and it’s another opportunity for me to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone for coping with the collective challenges we face and for participating in and supporting our children and young people. At this time, we know that we have a great responsibility in watching and caring for our children and young people. We know in schools and the college that for many of our children and young people our interest in them, our time taken making contact and our determination to proactively support them will be a useful ‘over and above’ what they will be getting at home. However, many of us know, and will recognise, that there will be a significant chunk of our children and young people who do not get that bit more from home and for them, especially, to know that there is an adult looking out for them, making contact with them and showing them some TLC will be close to life-saving.

It’s been another amazing seven days. We continue to have significant challenges in delivering our provision; The Department for Education shift in position yet again, the community health crisis worsens and, on top of all that, we get a significant dump of snow during the day on Thursday. And yet again, we’ve all taken it all in our stride. The firm foundations upon which we build the educational provision for this community allows us all, who are charged with taking some big decisions, something to root us. We endeavour to communicate regularly and effectively with you all and with the wider community. We work hard to ensure that every decision we take is set in a strong moral and ethical footing. We work hard to do the right thing, however difficult that might be and however expedient it might be to take the alternative route. Your support for us all in the schools and the college, at this time, is very much appreciated. I know it’s a well-worn phrase but we truly and really are ‘all in this together’.

And what about you? Are you looking after yourself? I know that it’s terrifically difficult at this time to identify those things to look forward to and even if you can see some positivity on the horizon, how rapidly we get towards those events may not be clear at this stage. We do not know when everyone will be vaccinated. We do not know whether we will be able to have holidays this summer. We do not know when we will be able to see our friends and relatives again. We do not know when this lockdown will be over. However, we can control what we are doing in the short term. You must write in, for oneself, those things that bring you joy and fulfilment, even if it’s just in the short term. I know that it’s terrifically difficult with lockdown but I hope you’re finding ways to bring some joy into your lives; on an evening or over the weekend. When we first went into school and college closure, in March and April last year, many people found simple pleasures to keep themselves going: that included baking, gardening, going out for walks, listening to old radio sitcoms. When there is snow on the ground, rain, wind and dark nights it might be more difficult to find some of those small pleasures. I do hope that you can find ways of resetting the dial and identifying things which will keep you going through these dark days.

There’s a great little piece from the BBC, which sets out pointers, which just might help. Five ways to stay positive through lockdown:

  • Get Moving
  • Stop over-thinking
  • Set a new target
  • Talk it over
  • Do it badly

For my part, I think I’ve persuaded my wife that painting the backroom/office this weekend isn’t necessary and that we can find other things to do instead. Amongst those other things will be a couple of runs – of course! There may well be the opportunity to do a family quiz. And I might even get the opportunity to watch a little bit of test match cricket.

n.b. England are playing Sri Lanka in Galle at the moment and are doing rather well. The Galle cricket ground is a genuinely amazing place. Galle itself was a fort for many years and the cricket ground nestles up against the fort walls. Have a look at some images of the ground; at one end there is a bus terminal and the whole ground itself acts as a roundabout. One day, just one day, I might get the chance to go there (or anywhere) and see a test match.

‘Simply enjoy life and the great pleasures that come with it.’ Karolina Kurkova

Please look after yourselves. Please look after each other. And I do hope you find some things to do this weekend to brighten your days.