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‘Starting school is such a fun time’: Never mind the kids, P1 teacher shares joy of first day

P1 teacher Alison Miller spoke about her role in helping 21 new starts adapt to life at St Andrews School in Orkney, and the challenges of doing so in a pandemic.
P1 teacher Alison Miller spoke about her role in helping 21 new starts adapt to life at St Andrews School in Orkney, and the challenges of doing so in a pandemic.

Parents are more involved than ever in their kids’ learning, thanks to the pandemic.

That is the view of a Primary 1 teacher as she looks forward to welcoming new starts.

Alison Miller spoke about her role in helping 21 new starts adapt to life at St Andrews Primary School in Orkney, and the challenges of doing so in a pandemic.

“After such a strange year, it will be interesting to see how the new pupils in my class transition from pre-school into primary one,” said Mrs Miller.

“I am really looking forward to it.

‘Pandemic has just become part of life for kids’

“At the moment, I do not have any concerns about the impact of Covid on the children, as I think they are so resilient.

“Face masks and social distancing have just become a part of life for them.

“I also think it is important to remember that everybody has had changes in their lives due to Covid, so we’re all coming from a similar place and with understanding.”

St Andrews School, Orkney

She added: “As play is such an important part of Primary 1, I will be trying to ensure that pupils are accessing an appropriate balance of play and more formal learning opportunities.

“I think starting Primary 1 is such a fun time, full of lots of new learning and I am really looking forward to the new challenges ahead.

Families more engaged in kids’ learning

“I think one of the positives that has been recognised in our school through the pandemic is that the amount of school and family engagement online has evolved to allow for more collaboration with families.

“This has allowed for learning at home and in school to be shared and celebrated in a more natural, modern and simple way.

“I am keen to continue to build on this throughout this next year.

“It’s very difficult to say hour by hour what the P1 day will look like.

“Each class is very different and teachers try to be as responsive as possible to this, particularly at the start of a new term.

“In my class, the main focus in the first few days will be supporting the pupils to settle into new routines and rules in the school and classroom.

“There will be lots of opportunities to play and bond as a class, getting to know each other and starting to introduce short, teacher-led learning opportunities.”

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