Pupils will be returning to school in a matter of days following the end of Lockdown 3.0.
But what impact has the pandemic and a year effectively spent home schooling had upon students and the education landscape?
Andy Morgan, Principal of Space Studio West London – a STEM school, believes the battle to deal with Covid-19 has raised the profile of the importance of science and allowed the public to appreciate the power it has on our everyday lives.
He explains: ‘’Everyone has spoken about following the science and if you look at the speed at which scientists have produced a vaccine that requires a huge amount teamwork and creative thinking – two very important skills. It’s these skills that have allowed them to produce a vaccine so quickly – normally it will take years to produce one but they have done it in months. Then there has been the collaboration between different countries and the sharing of data and genetic codes. It has been truly marvellous to see.’’
The importance of these skills in bringing science to life is also brought home to the students at Space Studio West London through the collaborative work that is carried out with employers as part of their Employability Diploma.
Being able to adapt rapidly to change has also been essential during the last year and produced a lasting effect on education.
Speaking to Radio Jackie earlier this month, Mr Morgan said: ‘’One of the things that teachers and students are brilliant at is adapting.
‘’And we’ve had to adapt really rapidly to a changing environment so we’re quite lucky as a school in that we’re a very small school.
‘’We’ve got 180 students and as part of that every student gets issued with a chrome book so we know that all our students have access to all of the work that we do via the internet and via the chrome book.
‘’So we’ve actually been able to take our school and go online so we’ve created a virtual school. So as principal I still teach quite a lot and I teach at the moment. So for example, I’ve got my Chemistry lesson and my students will be coming to their Chemistry lesson at 11.10am as they would normally do in school but it will just be virtual.
‘’It’s really quite exciting because I feel like I’ve had to go back to basics in terms of my teaching and learn a completely new way of communicating with students.
‘’It’s not the same. I’m not going to pretend it’s the same. It’s different in terms of the education but in terms of the content you can get through quite a lot.
‘’What the students miss and I think this has been reflected across the country is that they do miss their social interaction and when students come back that’s going to be really important for us to encourage the social interaction and wellbeing and thinking about how we can encourage students to work on those aspects of their life.’