I’ve created a new Wandsworth Prep Value: 'Be Flexible', or 'Be Really Flexible', or 'Be Really Brilliant at changing everything you’ve planned at the last minute (and get ready to change again)'.
The by-product of Covid has been flexibility. Do you remember before Covid when you thought you were a flexible person. You weren’t. Now we all know the true meaning of flexibility. Children are brilliant at being flexible. One of my new found pleasures being out of the classroom and in my office is hearing children having chats in the corridor when they don’t think the prying eyes of teachers are around. I heard a 6 year old the other day explain very succinctly to his friend our WPS bubble rules, use of the bathrooms, assembly attendance...you get the drift. It was all said in such a matter of fact way with total acceptance and for that, I praise the teachers. Everything else at school feels safe and normal and therefore these rules that we are finding extraordinary are part and parcel of their vocabulary, school life and nothing to be worrying about. They are still learning in their classroom, playing with their friends and enjoying school life.
This is the time of year when we love to share performances and the children’s learning through showcases. It’s what we pride ourselves on and something the children are so keen to do and share with their parents. To have that taken away from us seems cruel. But as we have adopted our 8th value - we’re being flexible.
It’s been reported over 50% of schools have dropped plans for their nativity plays because of Covid pressures, and of those that do go ahead, most will not have a live audience. WPS will be one of the few schools that will be streaming live, directly into your front rooms and / or offices. We could record the event in advance, edit it, make it more ‘professional’ and take out the parts where a four year old walks in the completely wrong direction, or examines the colour of their underwear beneath their shepherd’s tunic, or simply starts hugging the angel and forgets to sing, but where’s the Christmas spirit in that? We are going for it - with the wonderful imperfections that make Christmas, Christmas and children, children.
So, whatever the rules, whatever the tiers, whatever the holidays bring, remember WPS School Value number 8. Be flexible. We know from experience that it makes you think differently and act creatively. And that’s not a bad thing after all.