Today a little Grade 5 pupil told me that “today is the last day of school.” She said that she so vividly remembers the day in March when her teacher told the class: Tomorrow you must not come back to school. School will be closed until the Govt says we can all come back.” “And now a whole year of school is over!”
Yes, that is so, but it is not the whole story. And I want to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers and all the pupils and all the parents who have worked so hard at lessons this whole year. Teachers have had to learn new ways of dealing with pupils sitting in front of computers and tablets, and they have done so, brilliantly, using zoom and whatsapp and the telephone, and often giving one-to-one lessons to children who have asked for extra help. And parents and pupils have worked just as hard adapting to new ways of studying and learning. Parents have learned to “teach”, doing sometimes better than they expected, and achieving a closeness with their children which they had not anticipated. Children have suffered in many ways, but they too have learned from this enclosed situation: they have learned self-reliance and how to study on their own and they have often done very well in the exams, which have been conducted just as in a normal school year. The children have learned new ways of occupying their time, becoming increasingly creative, and they have had more time to watch and notice nature, which my little Grade 5 informant has certainly done.
And so, pupils, parents and teachers, I salute you, and congratulate you on your wonderful achievements this year, and I look forward to welcoming you back to school on the 5th of January 2021.
The Headmistress of The Little School.