School heads reveal feeling of 'positivity' at start of term

Headteachers in Fakenham and Wells feel a good atmosphere in school

Headteachers in Fakenham and Wells are saying that the buzz in the corridors is returning at their schools. - Credit: Neil Hunt Photography/Astley Primary School/Nick Dunmur

Headteachers in Fakenham and Wells believe there is a buzz in school corridors as staff begin to readjust to Covid measures.

Schools across Norfolk started a new term earlier this month and were forced to negotiate mask wearing and weekly testing for staff and pupils. 

Secondary school pupils in masks

Pupils were being asked to wear masks and test regularly once they returned to school after Christmas. - Credit: PA

However, amid rising Omicron rates over Christmas and the new year, maintaining secure face-to-face learning remained the priority.

And, despite the rules, headteachers in the area have reported a feeling of positivity - and even hints of normality beginning to return.

Jonathan Taylor, executive headteacher at Fakenham Academy, said: “Testing has gone really smoothly. It is something staff are now very used to doing.

“Our academy had an excellent first week back. Lessons have been engaging, challenging and fun - with real positivity around the school.

Jonathan Taylor, CEO of Sapientia Education Trust. Picture: Nick Dunmur

Jonathan Taylor, executive headteacher of Fakenham Academy - Credit: Archant

“We have also been developing our plans for the year 11 and year 13 proms and for a range of new trips and activities.

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“Covid-19 remains challenging - but challenges are to be overcome.”

Jen Goakes, headteacher at Astley Primary in Briston, echoed Mr Taylor's sentiments in relation to the school's atmosphere. 

“Staff testing has quickly become part of our weekly routine, so it has not been an issue,” she added.

Jen Goakes, headteacher at Astley Primary School

Jen Goakes, headteacher at Astley Primary School in Briston - Credit: Astley Primary School

“There is a positive feeling and there is the usual enthusiastic buzz around school."

Alastair Ogle, principal at Alderman Peel High School in Wells, revealed staff, pupils and parents were continuing to come together in the face of adversity. 

He said: “We are feeling very positive about this term. Everyone is working really hard and you can feel the positive energy in the classroom.

“It's lovely to see members of our school community supporting each other to overcome the disruptions that have occurred over the last two years.

Alastair Ogle, principal at Alderman Peel High School. Picture: Neil Hunt Photography

Alastair Ogle, principal at Alderman Peel High School. Picture: Neil Hunt Photography - Credit: Archant

“As always, there are challenges and pressures, but we have an incredible team and I'm confident that there is nothing we can't resolve by working together."

All three schools confirmed they had staff members who were isolating at the time of writing, but said there were relatively few.

They also said there had been no issues in getting hold of Covid testing kits.