Daniella Lang is the Headteacher at Brimsdown Primary School in Enfield, in this series of 8 posts she will be sharing her insights on how to support the school community remotely.
John Steinbeck said “A sad soul can be just as lethal as a germ.” and during these unprecedented and testing times this I am sure rings true for many school leaders. Whether staff are working from home, social distancing due to vulnerabilities, self-isolating with their family, or on a rota system so that school can still stay open for vulnerable and critical worker children, this is an extraordinary chapter and will take time for us all to adjust to our new normal. Balancing work demands, home life, anxieties, homeschooling, and possible illness, requires patience and energy. Times are such that everyone will feel the pressures and uncertainties at some point and so wellbeing for the whole school community needs to be high on the agenda.
For staff wellbeing, clear communication has been important. A short daily update with key information shared before 4 pm so that staff know what is happening and what to expect has helped comfort and give some regular contact from me as Head. This daily email is honest about what we know to be true. If there have been questions from a few staff around an area or anything new in the news, then reassurances are given. Praise for all those working on and off-site to support the school community, and country, in their different ways is added to the email. Plus, something fun, light-hearted, and special is often shared – maybe a photo of the school tortoise in my garden or an update on the four pregnancies within the school – the aim is trying to bring some normality and positivity. Having this open and honest daily communication with staff, although it cannot replace seeing faces each day, does help to uplift everyone.
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