It is a very long time since I last posted a blog and no one could even have begun to imagine how our lives would have changed over the past four months. None of us will have lived through anything like this before and inevitably we have all had to make significant adjustments to our lives since we all entered “lockdown”. Speaking personally, it has been a period of, at times, huge frustration coupled with immense pleasure at being able to spend so much quality time with my family.  The distractions away from family life have been very few and far between over this period and has led to more camping nights in the garden, more sport and physical activity done together, more indoor games, a daily family dog walk,  more, and more wide-ranging, discussions and a huge amount of fun and laughter!

Combined with all of this has been the challenge of distance learning. Let me say straight away that teaching your own children 1-1 is a hundred times harder than teaching a class full of other people’s children.  And I might add that this is true even if your child happens to be part of one of those classes!  So this has been demanding, has taken some adjusting and getting used to, both for me and for Melanie and for our children but ultimately it has proved to be a really rewarding experience.

I take my hat off to all those who were not furloughed within our school, who managed to create interesting and imaginative ways of challenging our children (and those who were trying their best to teach them as well!). We all have to try and make the best of the opportunities available to us at any given time and Mrs Davies and the skeleton team that have kept the school going through these dark days deserve every plaudit and our very grateful thanks.

I think the most important messages that I have tried to follow over the past few months are that above all else, we all need to look after our mental health and our physical well-being. We ignore these at our peril, because issues in either of these areas will knock-on into our abilities to maintain relationships in very fraught situations, focus on our work – be it school work or the jobs that we are trying to maintain as adults and our capability to deal with the incredibly stressful situations that many of us have found ourselves in over the past few weeks.

I extend my deepest sympathy to those of you who have lost loved ones over the course of this term. Grieving is challenging enough at the best of times, but when we are denied close physical contact with so many of those who would otherwise be there to help us deal with our losses, it must be even more challenging.

Finally, the announcement last week of the merger with Denstone College is wonderful news. Further information will be coming out over the next few months about this, but if you would like to speak with me about it please do not hesitate to give me a call or email me. I will be available for the whole of this week if anyone wants to catch up, either face to face (while obviously observing social distancing) or on the phone. I shall also be contactable throughout August.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch at any stage and look after one another.

Jerry Gear
29th June 2020