Making connections across the world from Los Albares, Ruffi and Willow Tree Academy (all four schools). We had 32 participants in total and everyone was able to contribute and share ideas.
This week we had a fabulous Zoom call with our friends in Spain and France to discuss how their children are responding being back at school or social distancing at home. We were able to share our experiences, worries and memories during this difficult time. The children were thrilled to finally meet each other virtually after writing letters and learning a lot about each other and their culture/traditions.
The children asked lots of questions about school, learning from home and whether or not they were allowed to go out and meet their friends. Here are some examples of the things we explored.
Mrs Buttree’s children asked the first question:
What’s the best experience you’ve had?
Freetime with your family. Daniel Santolaria and Pablo were good – excellent English!
Discovered new apps – Irene.
Have you found there’s more community spirit?
Was it easy working (doing school work) from home?
Daniel (Spain) – it’s very possible if you pay attention.
Easy for Laura (Spain) – she has everything on a calendar!
Have you been more active during lockdown? More exercise?
The first two months people in Spain were not allowed out at all. Children under 14 were allowed out after 2 months with one parent for 1hr. It felt like you were doing something very dangerous. March and April was hard, the streets were empty. Daniel said he exercised in his home (treadmill).
One of the UK boys had been trying to improve his fitness through runs and walks with his dog, being in the garden and done a sports day at home. Sports day – used a sock and a frying pan instead of a tennis ball & racquet. Children filmed themselves and scored themselves.
France – (teacher Anna) schools closed March 13th. Lockdown for everyone began mid-March – start of May. You couldn’t go out at all except for 1hr to exercise and you had to have papers with you to prove why you were out. A positive for Anna has been increased links with children and parents and have improved relationships with the parents – they feel like friends! Jane said teachers in the UK feel the same. You could speak to parents 1 2 1. The children enjoyed organising their time as they wanted. France have 400 children but only 40 are back in. The teachers work in shifts. Teachers have to wear face masks in French schools – different to the UK. In WTA each group of children has their own social bubble with their own teacher – The Invincibubbles, The Incredibubbles…
Daniel (Spain) question
How do you make school welcoming but safe, as we start coming back?
A children replied – Bjorn from the UK said that as they enter they have spaces to line up and their own space within the classroom and their own equipment,
Mrs Fearnley’s question – How much did you miss going to school?
UK children – a lot!
It’s nice to get back to normality because we’re more productive at school.
Everyone thought it was going to be fun having no school, but we missed it towards the end.
One boy was worried about coming back but it feels OK. Mrs Buttree said they’ve been doing work on emotional well being due to what’s happening.
Spanish children want to come back – ‘I don’t see my friends and I don’t see my teachers and it’s a little difficult to understand the homework and that’s it.’
It was such a wonderful experience to get the children’s viewpoints and what is happening in other countries, we are scheduling our next meeting with Ana and the children in Spain to discuss our NEMESIS projects and how we are moving forward with them.