A Wrexham headteacher has described how she has adapted the way her school works to ensure children continue their education during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Amanda Williams, who is the headteacher of Park County Primary School in Llay, near Wrexham, is transforming the way her school delivers lessons as its staff and pupils find themselves facing the challenges imposed by the lockdown.
Amanda graduated from Wrexham Glyndŵr University with an MA in Education which she studied for alongside her teaching work. She said: “The effect of the coronavirus lockdown on schools was unanticipated and instantaneous. Before, schools were busy thriving communities available to all, full of animated effervescent groups of people all growing, learning and developing together.
“School buildings became deserted shells. With classrooms and learning areas that were once vibrant, engaging and dynamic hives of activity now lying idle. An array of wonderful learning resources are eagerly awaiting the return of learners to return them to their intended purposes.”
Amanda described the massive amount of work she and her fellow teachers up and down the country are undertaking to ensure they can still help children to learn at home.
The “New Normal”
“Teachers are accustomed to being diligent and engaging comm unica tor s responding to a continuous assortment of diverse requests with encouragement, empathy and stimulation.
“They are now working remotely and facilitating learning through platforms such as Google Classroom, Seesaw and Dojos. Staff are attempting to predict the well-being and needs of the children, excitedly providing feedback, praise and encouragement where possible.
Amanda added that she and her fellow teachers are working to ensure children can return to school physically and to try to reach what she has described as a ‘new normal’.
Committed and Determined
“School leaders are working hard to devise strategies and systems that will allow children to return to their schools as safely as possible.
Schools are used to adapting and accommodating new policies and procedures as, quite often, they are places where change is the only constant.”
Wrexham County Borough Council’s Chief Officer for Education and Early Intervention, Ian Roberts, added: “I would like to pass on my thanks to Amanda and to all our teaching staff who have continued to adapt to very different teaching circumstances.
“They are all committed to their profession and are determined to ensure that children across Wrexham have been able to learn while they are at home.
Abigail Schwarz, Senior Lecturer in Education at Wrexham Glyndŵr University added: “The work that teachers and school leaders like Amanda are doing to help keep children educated and to prepare schools for their return is invaluable.
“We have been delighted to welcome Amanda as a guest lecturer on the PGCE and BA Primary Education (QTS) courses to pass on her knowledge and share her continued passion and expertise. As a Masters graduate of Glyndŵr, she can offer insight into academic studies and primary school practice. Our students are in the very best of hands.”