The New Rye Normal

A Blog Post from Jo Croft – Acting Head

If anything, the last 1 2weeks have proved that schools are a place of learning for everyone, not just the students – whether that be pre-pre, prep, senior school, sixth form or Boarders!  My vocabulary has increased as I’ve taken on the concept of R, super spreader, social distancing, flattening the curve, social bubbles.  The list goes on.  For years, there has been much talk about children today lacking resilience and the mention of a snowflake generation who have been ‘softened’ by having everything within their grasp. The last 12 weeks of lockdown has steadfastly disproved this and on 1 June we are waking up to a robust, resilient school of learners where pupils and teachers alike are showing to the world that nothing can stop them.  If there’s ever a powerful message to come from this pandemic, it is that our students want their education and nothing is going to stop them from getting it.

At Rye we made the bold decision to overhaul our timetable at Easter to ensure a balanced and robust offering that enabled students to forge ahead with their learning while also understanding the need for good mental health and enrichment.  Our extended enrichment sessions have done just that, enriched the learning experience and brought the fun back into other areas of school life.  Students are desperate to move away from devices and be with each other.  Long gone is the fascination with technology as a means of escape and filling time.  Instead, here, loud and clear, are young people saying technology can make our lives better but… and here it is…. technology is not the be all and end all.  It’s the facilitator for learning but it won’t do the learning for us, and it cannot at any cost replace face-to-face interactions with others.

The post Covid normal will be social bubbles of children talking, working alongside each other and relishing the time spent with friends.  Devices will enhance their learning, enabling them to explore topics further, be curious about their learning and be independent enough to push the boundaries they explore.  The bubbles will lead to stronger friendships, greater appreciation for the kindnesses and gentleness of human interaction and a real sense of camaraderie.

So yes, social distancing and social bubbles may be the new normal, but really what they’ve taught us all is the importance of the true values that we all appreciate: community, friendship and making the most of all opportunities.  After the rain falls, the rainbow shines, and after Covid-19, the kindness glows. Let’s make the most of all our learning from this.

Rye St Antony, Oxford – Bringing Our School to your Home

We are pleased to be able to offer bespoke virtual tours and meetings to interested families at this time.

We are incredibly proud of the Virtual Learning Experience we have offered our pupils – you can read about it here