A virtual welcome from David Price, Headmaster
During this period of national lockdown, and in accordance with national guidelines, the school remains closed to the majority of pupils. We are welcoming boys into school each day, who have critical worker parents or who fall under the category of vulnerable, where they are supervised by teachers or teaching assistants in their lessons alongside their classmates at home via the communication platform Microsoft Teams.
We started using Teams during the first national lockdown in the spring and summer of 2020 and it quickly became integrated into many aspects of school life, so much so that we continued to use it once we returned to school in September. We used it to set homework, hold parents’ evenings, for school assemblies to enable bubbles of pupils to join together regularly and to teach boys who were self-isolating at home. So while we were sad not to return to school after Christmas we were able to move smoothly into our remote learning mode.
This term we are offering boys a revised but busy timetable, including specialist lessons for boys in Years 4 to 6 with their teachers. All boys are having weekly PE, French (Year 4 up) and music lessons. They have adequate breaks from their screens and there is time within the timetable for them to complete their homework as I firmly believe time after school should be focused on reading, playing and relaxing.
Each morning the boys have time to talk to their class teacher about any concerns they have and feedback is provided to boys and parents via Teams. In the first lockdown we encouraged the boys to take part in our Magnificent Mallians and Mini Mallians challenges. These were open ended tasks designed so the boys could problem solve, think creatively and demonstrate their prowess in art, design, music and sport. We will be offering similar challenges this term.
The well-being of our boys is extremely important to us and every day all the boys have face to face contact online with their class teacher. This is an opportunity for the boys to talk about what they have been doing, see their friends and discuss things that might be worrying. Our Assistant Head in charge of pastoral matters carries out a well-being survey every half term, including during lockdown, with all boys to see how they are doing. Where appropriate we can then discuss with parents what additional support we can put in place to support their sons.
I hope this section of our website will give you a flavour of what school life is like in lockdown as well as giving current parents all the information they need to help support their sons at home during this time. If you are considering The Mall for your son I hope you will make an appointment to meet me virtually and let me tell you about how we will bring out the best in your son whether he is in school or virtual school.