26th June 2020 — Summer term is such an energetic term, there is always such a vibrant feel to school, with activities galore, concerts, sports days and trips. Sadly this year the school site has been pretty quiet with all lessons online and learning taking place at home. As the prolonged lock down continued it was clear to staff at Pitsford School that the students were flagging, and if we are honest, so too were the teachers! What was needed was a break from the norm and time with friends, an energy boost and a little bit of something different. .....
Step forward Deputy Head, Fidelma Kirk who together with Mr Cole, and Mrs Chacksfield (and a whole lot of parent support) set about planning that boost.
This week has seen the commencement of the Pitsford Summer Quest ! It was a quest like no other, an activity that was designed to get the children away from thier computers and doing all manner of fun challenges over the course of 3 days! Using the Firefly learning platform as a base Mrs Kirk set about creating a mulitude of tasks for everyone to complete. By incoporating all the tasks into House challenges there was plenty to play for as some tasks required individual work, some required teamwork and some were mandatory for all. All of this was knitted together by the story of "The Hobbit- an Unexpected Journey" . The teams took on the personas of Dwarves and thier ultimate quest was to find thier Dragon. Each morning, in a group assembly via Zoom, clues were released and activities assigned to set them on their way. The students needed to submit evidence of thier activities once they had completed them and then re-convene for another Zoom assembly in the afternoon, for a wrap up and preparation for the next day. All of this coincided nicely with the return of the Year 10s who were able to work together in their House groups whilst in school and have some much needed time with thier friends.
The activities set included: cracking Maths codes, writing Limmericks, building shelters, cooking, drawing maps and pictures, scavenger hunts that could be done at home ( and in school so the Year 10s had elements to find!) and also solving riddles which eventually lead to the finding of Dragons. These had been dotted around the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside and with the help of some amazing parent drivers, the students were able to head out to find them!
It has been the tonic that the students needed, with great involvement from staff, students and parents. The energy and enthusiasm that it created was palpable, but this is just the tip of the ice berg. Next week sees the start of virtual Sports day, run by Mrs Chacksfield, and the very first MAD day ( Make a Difference), run by Mr Cole. Both of these activities help to keep the students active, encourage them to look after themselves both physically and emotionally and also encourage them to think about helping others too.
Such imagination and tireless effort from the teachers, who are constantly looking for ways to reinvigorate the students, means that at Pitsford School we are heading into the last 2 weeks of term having managed to recapture that vibrancy and energy which often defines the summer term.