Staff at Gretton School were overjoyed this morning when the school was awarded Gold by Teach Well Alliance for taking care of the physical and mental well-being of staff during the Corona Virus pandemic.
In their new positions as Acting Head Teacher and Deputy Head, Beth Elkins and Victoria Howe have certainly risen to the challenge in this ever-changing world of COVID-19. Since government guidance first trickled in, they have been quick to respond in a manner that keeps our learners at the centre of all we do.
Here's what they've been doing to keep staff united:
Daily structure is upheld via video call in the form of morning briefings, meetings, catch-ups, you name it! The Well-Being team provides two drop-in sessions per week, to help lift spirits and give guidance to those who want it. An additional framework has been built to ensure all staff receive regular Supervisions with their line managers.
Two Google Chat groups exist - one to share a wealth of useful resources and ideas, and the other for silly jokes, motivational quotes and uplifting comments! Shout-outs and Positives are collected throughout each week and shared in an ultimate de-brief on Friday afternoons. A weekly newsletter continues to go out to staff and parents, showing the highlights of the week and offering useful resources to try at home.
A rota has emerged for staff to come onto site to support the few children of key workers who continue to come into school, though the numbers are small to minimise exposure. Staff who are being 'shielded' are not included on the rota. In an unprecedented time such as this, Gretton School did not slow down even for Easter break - some students remain onsite in the boarding facility, and those staff who supported them over the term holiday are now receiving well-deserved time off to relax.
While we are not all in the same boat, we are certainly in the same storm - and we we are very grateful to our Captains for their undying support.
Some staff commented:
“The well-being chat is excellent, set up by the well-being team and even runs through the holidays. If I was struggling or having an issue I would log in for some help or company.” - Teaching Assistant
“By keeping the morning briefings and meetings have made me still feel part of the team. My line manager has been in regular contact, alongside other members of SLT. The Well-being Team have drop in twice a week, and the one I joined really lifted my spirits and made me laugh a lot. We just feel like a team/family still by checking in on each other." - Behaviour and Welfare Team Member