It’s been a summer like no other! Did anyone actually managed to get a break? Unlikely, if you are a teacher, especially if a senior leader or exams officer or with data responsibilities. For too many, last summer term just simply did not end.
The logistical measures to prepare for the return to school of all students to a safe and workable environment has been excruciatingly complicated and staff have, in many cases, worked throughout August to ensure systems are ready for the beginning of term, and for some there will be personal and professional anxiety about the return and all that means.
Staggered starts and finishes, year group capsules and special Covid-19 timetables are among the immense changes being implemented, this week. For SLT’s the job of making sure students can get to school, attend classes, and engage with their peers safely while reducing any potential spread of the virus, is their major challenge. The resulting new routines and adaptations are understandably colossal but there is an overriding feeling among the teachers we have spoken to of relief and excitement to be back in the classroom, engaging directly with students once more.
Welcoming the new cohort of Year 7s into school is so often a time of optimism and anticipation, whatever the circumstance. It is just so bizarre that the obligatory trip to Rymans or WHSmith that many of these new students make in the run up to the start of school, to stock up on HB pencils and shatterproof rulers, this year also includes purchasing a mask and personal hand sanitiser.
For those of you embarking on a teacher-training course, we wish you well. You may be interested in taking UCL’s user friendly online CPD course; ’ 6 things…. The course highlights the key things young people need to know about the Holocaust but that are often worryingly misunderstood. The course will provide you with classroom ideas and resource suggestions for addressing these and teaching the Holocaust effectively.
Throughout this new academic year we will continue to support teachers. We are very pleased to be presenting new courses and resources including a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) a new research informed textbook, new online/face-to- face CPD courses and we will create quality lessons and resources for you and your students to use.
We are also delighted to launch our new Virtual Beacon School Programme in Holocaust Education. This new format has enabled us in this Covid -19 context, to bring on board 23 new schools. We will continue to run our well-established Master’s Module ‘The Holocaust in the Curriculum’ now in its 10th year.
Finally, we will be offering an Ask the Expert service. We invite teachers to send in, via our twitter handle (@ucl_holocaust), questions relating to issues or concerns regarding their teaching of the Holocaust and one of our team of experts will respond with advice and guidance via this Post it Note or via a podcast.
The team at UCL Centre for Holocaust Education wish you a happy, healthy and successful school year.