We have made it to the end of the term and indeed the end of the academic year. And what a year it has been, a year of two halves, before and after lockdown.
Despite the obvious restrictions that have been imposed on us, we have much to celebrate and to be grateful for this year. Sport success, the cricket tour, music, drama (including our production of Les Miserables), many trips, clubs, competitions and so on. Most of which was shared in our virtual Prizegiving celebration.
Even in lock down we continued to deliver the curriculum and timetable (with the exception of games) using Google Classroom and Seesaw for our youngest pupils. It was, for everyone, a steep learning curve, but we were delighted at how staff, parents and our wonderful pupils embraced this change to a new way of working. We witnessed amazing contributions to online lessons and our pupils have made huge academic progress.
We also had many virtual versions of our normal events such as assemblies, clubs, Variety Week and Prizegiving to provide the sense of normality and inclusion for our pupils and staff.
Not only have we delivered our academic curriculum we have relished the vast array of extra-curricular activities our pupils have taken part in. Our social media channels have been bursting with examples of music, art and volunteering to name but a few. Please follow us on twitter to keep up to date with school activities: @BirkdaleSchool and @BirkdalePrep.
As a result of this we have received an enormous amount of support from our parents, thanking us for all we have provided over recent months. Here are a few of those messages:
“I just wanted to let you know how well the Google Meet has worked for my son, X this week. Absolutely brilliant to be honest! Well done to all the teachers – really appreciate the hard work going into making this a successful learning experience.”
“Massive thanks to everyone at Birkdale for your efforts. Hugely appreciative of everything you are doing and can’t believe how great the home learning is. I’m telling everyone who’ll listen how great the school is.”
“We just wanted to express our enormous gratitude to all of the Birkdale staff for the marvellous way that the home schooling has been rolled out and for the excellent standard you are offering under such unusual circumstances. The live lessons that we hear as we pass our dining room are truly amazing.
X is so exceptionally engaged with the boys and to hear them laughing and sharing their answers is wonderfully uplifting. X always leaves these lessons incredibly motivated and with such a positive attitude.
Teachers are providing such fabulous input and it is heartening that the children can look again at videos and re-visit the posted material to reassure themselves they are on the right track. We cannot believe the level of detail for subjects such as MFL, art, music, geography, history, RE and PE – the standards are absolutely outstanding and we are delighted when we see our son tackling all of these topics with such enthusiasm.
We realise that the boys may not return to school for many months and this is such a different way of learning. However, from our point of view, you couldn’t be doing a better job and what you are providing is helping us to get along with our own work, in the knowledge that our child’s education is continuing effectively. We are so happy that we selected this school for X; he is too.”
“Both X and X really enjoy school, we all believe Birkdale is superb. The remote online learning that you have provided for both children has been exceptional. It has really given the kids direction and good focus at this difficult time.”