One Halifax headteacher believes, however, that the community would be doing itself a disservice not to hold on to the positives that have formed against the backdrop of so much unhappiness and uncertainty.
Lianne Lomas is the Executive Headteacher at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, and also now leads St Malachy’s Catholic Primary School, which is part of the Blessed Peter Snow Catholic Academy Trust, which she joined at the start of the first lockdown in March.
Mrs Lomas said: “Across both schools, I have been incredibly proud of how they have responded to the challenges that we have faced.
“There have been some dark times for us all, and we should not forget that. There are people in our school’s community who have lost loved ones, some have faced difficult times financially and others have struggled with their mental health.
“Yet, there are positives. That is why we shouldn’t simply forget 2020. Staff have embraced new ways of learning. Pupils seem to appreciate coming to school even more, and the heightened focus of the importance of wellbeing will be vital moving forward.”
Mrs Lomas hopes that, for a school like St Malachy’s, these positives will set the platform for the school to have a very exciting future.
“Over the last few years, St Malachy’s has had a number of interim leaders. My permanent appointment, which I hope will add some much-needed stability, coupled with the way that new ideas have flourished in lockdown, really does set the framework for what I hope will be a fantastic 2021.”
Aside from rolling out things like a wellbeing advent calendar, where every child and staff member gets a treat every day in December, there is also an increased expectation in relation to the progress that children make in the classroom.
Richard Williams, CEO of The Blessed Peter Snow Catholic Academy Trust, added: “Lianne is a fantastic addition to St Malachy’s.
“Her track record of leading schools across Yorkshire and the North East is hugely impressive, and the impact she has had over the last nine months has been immense.
“Given the school has brilliant children and a talented and passionate set of staff, the potential for the St Malachy’s to be a jewel in the crown of the community is clear to see. I look forward not just to what the next 12 months will bring, but what can be achieved in the years to come.”