With children out of school, head teachers are reaching out to the students they are missing in a variety of ways. Anna Ganley, the assistant head teacher at Bedford Hall Methodist Primary School in Leigh, Wigan, wanted to reach out and encourage the children from her school, and so created a short video, shared on social media, where each member of staff was invited to hold up a word from John Wesley's rule for life.
Here, Anna tells Youth and Children's Work how making the video helped remind children how much they are missed and that we should be there for each other in lockdown.
John Wesley's rule is about doing good in all the places you can to all the people you can and for as long as you can. In a time when we might feel disconnected, we thought it was vital to try and stay connected with people and John Wesley's rule just seems so pertinent because it means trying to do all the good you can regardless of the situation that you are in at the moment.
Asking our staff to share the pictures and come together was not only a way to send a message of love from us because we miss the children so much, but actually to share a really important message that in this unprecedented and scary time, you can still make a difference and you can still do some good. No matter how small, you can still make a difference.
We've heard so many lovely stories and the children are constantly uploading and sharing with staff, starting with pictures of the rainbows in windows which I've done with my own two little girls. We've heard of children looking after people who are in need, who have family or neighbours that they've helped, and it's all down to that message of staying strong and staying safe, but doing good in the moment.
At school, we often learn about John Wesley's rule and in the current climate, it is more important than ever to do what we can for others. Here is a reminder, sent with love from all the staff at Bedford Hall @MethodistGB @AcornChaplain pic.twitter.com/Fpi7n9XSf6— Bedford Hall Methodist Primary School (@BHMSchool) April 16, 2020
For our family, looking at John Wesley's rule, it's been really important to keep our faith and just believe that good will come from this. Lockdown for us have been challenging at times, as I'm sure it has been for everybody. I'm a key worker so I am continuing to work, and my husband is working from home, and we've got two young children - three and five.
We've tried to ensure they are doing the work they need to do for school but more important, I feel, is making sure that their mental wellbeing comes first and that's another message we need to get across. We need to ensure that everyone is safe and well, and that includes feeling mentally well, keeping that faith, remembering the important things and keeping in mind that this isn't forever. There's lots of good that can come from this.
In our school, there's just so much community spirit - and this isn't just between teachers - and a sense of togetherness that we've always had in school, but this has really shown that it goes beyond the school days and the holidays. Our priority is, and still is, making sure our children are safe and cared for, and know that good can come of this, that they can be part of that and that they can be that good in the world.
Anna Ganley is the assistant head teacher at Bedford Hall Methodist Primary School.
Are you a teacher? What are you doing to reach out to your children in lockdown? Let us know!