Resilience and empathy

We have just finished our assessment series for Years 11 and 13, and our pupils can now breathe a huge sigh of relief as we begin the grading process. They have prepared well and we have been impressed by their dedication and focus as they have sought to give the best account of themselves at the culmination of their courses.

The good news from the Pearson’s 2021 Global Learner Survey is that young people may recover faster from the pandemic than previously thought. The survey polled more than 6,000 people globally, including a UK sample. It found that 80% of British university students had found new ways to be more resilient and self-sufficient, and that 57% felt they had grown as people. Parents of school-age children reported a similar trend, with 85% saying they were impressed by their child’s self-sufficiency and adaptability.

Although other surveys have unsurprisingly reflected loneliness and mental health concerns due to the disruption to education and long periods spent at home, the majority of students apparently feel they have become stronger and more empathetic. Parents have also noted their children’s resilience during months away from school and friends.

Some 68% of parents and students said they felt that the pandemic had caused people to be more caring and understanding. 83% of parents said that their children are more aware of the hardships other people face, and 64% expect that they will become more interested in social issues as a result.

It was often said earlier in the pandemic that the world should never be the same again and that we should learn lessons, emerging as more considerate human beings, making time to support our neighbours and to rebuild communities.

It has been a steep learning curve for all of us, and we shall benefit from some of the lessons to mould our school development and values over the years ahead. After half-term, I shall send you an invitation to a remote parents’ forum on Monday 28th June at 7pm on School Development post-Covid-19.

In the meantime, I wish you and your families a happy and (possibly!) sunny bank holiday weekend.

John Watson