We are rattling towards another half term break. This has been an incredibly intense period for us all working in schools and college; staff and pupils and students alike. When that half term break comes it will be well earned and I implore you now to think carefully about what you are going to do. Whatever it is, whatever you have organised, make sure that you plan to leave school and college work behind for a chunk of time.
The days of the 2020 lockdown seem long gone and well behind us now. Even the more recent lockdown is a fading memory. It has been interesting talking to a member of staff this week who reported how members of their community, (friends and other parents at their child’s school) didn’t quite get that the school building closure didn’t mean that they weren’t at work. People’s lack of understanding can sometimes be frustrating. We know what we have all done and how hard we all have worked to get to this point.
Schools and colleges are amazing places. We do amazing things. Weaving that in with the lockdown period. Many people over that first lockdown picked up new interests and skills. We talked, throughout that period, about baking, learning a foreign language, exercise routines and there were a whole host of people who started to notice things around them even more than they had previously. For some this included bird watching. Not the full ornithologist’s package but just seeing some of nature’s neighbours a little more readily and, due to the fall in traffic and urban noises, hearing that birdsong more clearly. And so, going back to the point about schools and colleges being amazing places; it was incredible that just this week in school in Nottinghamshire found, cared for and then released an extremely rare bird called the Golden oriole (no I hadn’t heard of this bird either). This ultra-rare (phrase used by the BBC) bird had been found by a cleaner in the school and the wider school community then rallied round, bringing in a vet, feeding the bird and then allowing its release, a few days later. There are only around about 85 of these birds which pass through the UK every single year.
Another example of the importance of our schools and colleges and the role that we all play in contributing to our wider communities: exams, assessments, mental health and well-being, community cohesion, British Values and feathered friend care, the list goes on.
And instead of a quote this week; some true bird names which prove that ornithologists have a sense of humour…
- Satanic Nightjar
- Horned Screamer
- Common Loon
- Ruddy Pigeon
- Perplexing Scrubwren
- And our family favourite the Hoopoe
And if Eurovision is your thing, enjoy! To the rest of the population, I hope you can find something to distract you on Saturday evening – it’s one of those marmite events. The Eurovision song contest isn’t for me, I’ll definitely be doing something (anything) different on Saturday evening.