In the last of our Lockdown Diaries, and as we look forward to the return of school community to Cathedral Close on the 8th March, we hear from our Principal Deputy Head, Mrs Fairweather about the ways she has remained positive through the pandemic and the importance of wellbeing.
"It feels strange to be writing this from lockdown now that we can see a genuine light at the end of the tunnel, but it also feels like a good time for a moment of reflection.
What a year it has been - full of uncertainty as we have moved in and out of lockdown; full of adjustments personally and professionally as we have adapted to this shared experience. Having only joined Norwich School in September 2019, the spectre of Covid-19 feels as though it has always been here with us - as a family we relocated to Norfolk, planning to plant roots here after years of moving from Bristol, via Kuala Lumpur and Somerset. My associations so far to this place are strongly linked to the pandemic and as the light hovers ahead, I look forward to making new non-covid Norfolk memories!
My role and this community have kept me going through this experience, I have felt the comfort of colleagues, the companionship of pupils and their families, and a sense of purpose in keeping a positive mindset. I have found new rhythms and routines during this lockdown and this structure, combined with a sense of belonging, have been grounding at such an unstable time. My Monday mornings begin in a quiet kitchen with a coffee writing to the pupils - I find writing these letters is an important part of my week, and whilst gently making suggestions to promote wellbeing to others, I help myself. I have been grateful for the opportunity to maintain contact with the pupils I teach and my colleagues through Teams, and whilst this has been a reasonable substitute, I am very much looking forward to the day when we are back on site together in Cathedral Close.
It is always a good idea to look for the silver lining, and lockdown has certainly given us an opportunity to get to know ourselves. Prioritising self-care has been more important than ever, and I hope it will continue to be so as we move onwards - walking in nature, eating as a family, daily yoga, apps turning off on my phone at 9pm, shared family TV for an hour each evening, listening to the birds - these will be my personal takeaways from this experience. What will yours be? Charlie Mackesey has captured the feelings and mood of our nation so beautifully over the last year and I share a recent image from him - I hope you also find it helpful."
Despite what the media would have us believe our children are not a lost generation, they are not broken, they have learned resilience, patience, and endurance. We should all be very proud of them.