Well into our third national lockdown now, it hardly deserves mention that we are all longing for a return to normality. With each week that goes by, our hope grows stronger that we are tiptoeing ever nearer the light at the end of the tunnel and the reunion we all crave! However, as most have acknowledged, life as we knew it is a distant past and a far-off future.
For households with primary school aged children, wits have been challenged to the maximum and tempers frayed, as parents have experienced the frustration of juggling home-schooling support, whilst working from home. The adverse effect on the mental health of all involved, both parents and children, is beyond any doubt. Statistics show that over half the primary aged children in the country are receiving insufficient home-schooling or support. Schools are overburdened with the sudden and unprecedented demands on time and resources. Teachers are stretching themselves inordinately and making their best efforts to support every child but catering to a class of twenty-five children plus, each with varied needs and home circumstances is near impossible.
This is where schools with small class sizes are at a great advantage. Preparatory schools have purposely small class sizes (often between 12 and 15) and so they are immeasurably better equipped to provide individualized and robust learning packages to children, whether remotely or face to face.
Small class sizes augment remote learning tremendously and allow children and their teachers to remain truly ‘Together Whilst Apart’, staying extremely well connected through online learning provision. At Bury Catholic Preparatory School, for example, it has been reassuring to see all children actively participating in ‘live’ lessons each day, with no compromise on quality, and responding excellently to discussions and instruction. With boundless support, they have adapted seamlessly to their ‘new way of learning’, and for this, they deserve only praise; my, how resilient children are!
Reduced numbers within class cohorts allow strong individual relationships to develop so much more easily between a teacher and class members, even between screens, and there is inevitably increased interaction and a closer understanding, between the teacher and each child and the children themselves, something which is so essential as our young people come to terms with being physically apart. Their mental health and welfare cannot fail to benefit from this. And it must be added that the greater the amount of individual attention that each child is afforded, the less becomes the need for parental intervention! Now there is a sentence worth savouring!
And looking forward with hope, to a return for all our children to the classroom, schools with small classes again reap the rewards of their benefits. Indeed, this is where they really come into their own. Fewer children in a class results in a superbly high level of personal attention as they catch up on missed classroom time and opportunities, and accelerated learning is beyond question. On a personal level too, children’s hands are held tightly, metaphorically speaking, as they negotiate the necessary restrictions placed on them by a viral pandemic. At a time of such anxiety for all parents, the reassurance and relief that this gives is surely a price beyond gold! Times are tough and the stakes are high.
Our children are our future and education is a gift; at Bury Catholic Preparatory School it is an accessible and affordable gift. Should you wish to discuss your child’s needs, or if we can help at all, please contact us on 0161 797 5804 or scan the QR. Give your child the best start in life.