It’s all give, give, give, but the gratification is forever delayed in this week’s lockdown diary from David Phillips

 

Monday 22 June

We discuss the September curriculum, but we are awaiting the government update

Key worker provision continues and year 10 and 12 students are starting their second week. Faculty leaders discuss structuring the delivery of the September curriculum: our model offers us the greatest flexibility in case there is a second spike, but we are awaiting the government update due next week.

I return to school in the afternoon to meet a local head whose school has been a victim of flash flooding. We walk a portion of our site and discuss whether it is suitable as a temporary base.

 

Tuesday 23 June

My interim review with governors is based on targets we set before Covid-19

I greet the year 10 students in our sports hall before another day of learning. Our school is like a greenhouse. Fans can’t be used to keep the temperature down so I start by apologising and asking them to think cool thoughts.

My interim review with governors is based on targets that we set before Covid-19 was heard of. Strangely, we have kept our focus on being outward-looking, and have maintained high behaviour expectations and developed our curriculum, although perhaps not in the way we had imagined.

I keep forgetting to keep my water intake up, especially important on a hot day when I am booked to donate platelets for cancer treatment. Donations have continued through lockdown, although my last session was cancelled as the machine was needed for convalescent plasma for Covid-19. Five pints of water at the last minute feel like an error of judgment as I stay strapped up to the machine with 40 minutes to go.

 

Wednesday 24 June

The government has shifted the goalposts and issued changed guidance

We hold our first online evening for parents of year 6 students. I have practised breakout rooms, screen-sharing and sound, and a tight agenda still gives parents time to talk about their concerns. With a couple of glitches in the first meeting, the technology holds up in the second and we feel it has been a success.

I then see the update guidance on the ability to claim on the Covid-19 fund. After the Edenred FSM voucher debacle we have continued to use Wonde vouchers. The government has shifted the goalposts and issued changed guidance that says we will not be refunded for the Easter and half-term breaks. I leave a late-night phone message for my MP to call back tomorrow and go to sleep cross.

 

Thursday 25 June

Our social care laptops finally seem to be on their way

A day of exchanging emails with our MP’s office and speaking to some news providers. I have been more involved with the media through the months of lockdown than for the whole of last year.

Our social care laptops finally seem to be on their way, even though the number allocated is a couple short of our list. Our year 10 laptops will be way behind these. We are hoping to get the 18 we ordered back at the beginning of May, but it appears the order is only now being processed.

 

Friday 26 June

We do not want to throw the timetable in the air

An interview on local radio first thing and potentially positive news regarding our ability to be reimbursed for the holiday vouchers. However, the article in Schools Week on secondary “bubbling” prompts further detailed discussion in our senior meeting to be ready for the faculty meetings next week. We do not want to throw the timetable in the air, so we are considering re-rooming year groups so that the school will be geographically divided on year lines rather than faculty ones.

Home for a relaxing evening in the garden with plans to see my daughter tomorrow. Instead, the car breaks down and the visit will have to wait. Must everything be an exercise in delayed gratification?