During the Spring and Summer terms 2020, girls at The Mount continued to enjoy a full timetable of online lessons, activities and meetings with their peers. Having been an iPad school for many years, the school was able to move teaching and curriculum studies from classrooms into the virtual classroom with minimal disruption. Parents and pupils alike felt the structure was a significant advantage toward coping with the pressures of lockdown.
Such was the gratitude that two of our teaching staff gained public recognition for their dedication.
Jan Wilson, who teaches Key Stage 1 and is already a recipient of the prestigious Pearson Silver Teaching Award, was awarded the St Leonard’s Hospice Lockdown Lovelies Award for Lockdown Learning. Miss Wilson said, “I am very proud and honoured to receive the lockdown legend award. Remote learning was a very steep learning curve and I am very grateful for the truly team effort between staff and parents. I am so proud of the girls, who quickly adapted and kept smiling throughout.”
Jackie Eccles, PE teacher and Head of Years 10 & 11, was nominated in York Art Gallery’s Our Heroes display. She said, “It was lovely to be recognised, but it was absolutely a team effort across all of the staff who worked so hard throughout the whole of lockdown. The girls responded fantastically well, working from home with a cheerful optimism, which certainly made our jobs easier.”
From the St Leonard’s Hospice website
Winner: Miss Wilson of The Mount School (nominated by Vicky Stott and Key Stage One parents)
We nominate the utterly amazing Miss Wilson, Key Stage One teacher at The Mount School, York. On Friday 20 March, the schools shut. We picked up our daughters and wondered what was going to happen and how we were going to get through the challenges of work, children, the future…. The unexplored life yet unknown. But we did not account for Miss Wilson! She became our unwavering, guiding light through the murky, misty circus of juggling our other children, working from home, battling on the frontline, and our new lockdown lifestyles. As we left the school building that Friday, we were armed with packs of passwords, access to applications, clear instructions and back up paper schoolwork if all else failed.
The Monday morning arrived, and the schoolwork had been seamlessly switched to an online platform. There was a myriad of daily tasks, maths, English, projects, inspiring and innovative learning. We could dip in, dip out, go at our children’s own pace and delve into their areas of interest. Miss Wilson filled our days virtually with focus and structure allowing the parents as well as the children into her classroom environment where the teaching layers fell away. We had explanations of the learning aims along side detailed instructions of exciting tasks. The home teachers were taught too!
Each day and week we went on a wonderful learning journey. We had online teaching, playtimes, story times, virtual show and tell and individual listening to reading books. Year one started only knowing when it was time for online school to begin, by the end they could all tell the time. Year two went on a story writing adventure from space to friendships with everything in between. All the girls were learning and developing against the home-schooling odds. This was all due to the dedication of their teacher.
Miss Wilson was cheery, upbeat, positive and consistent each day. We started with an individual daily greeting asking how we were as a positive start to each morning. She never trivialised or belittled any situation and was supportive and understanding. She displayed empathy and intuition to the various home situations. She rolled her sleeves up, adapted overnight and got stuck in.
We all relied on her and when the girls went back into school as restrictions were eased, there were no feelings of intrepidation from the children or nervousness from the parents. Miss Wilson was there our rock and lockdown guiding light. She is our daughter’s teacher and one of those special individuals that they (and us) will remember as being a key part of the lockdown experience.
“Do you remember when the schools were closed for covid? Miss Wilson was my special teacher.”
Thank you, Miss Wilson.
From the York Art Gallery “Our Heroes: Welcome”
Here at York Art Gallery, we are keen to pay tribute to all key workers and involve stories of those working or volunteering in other essential services during the pandemic. Following a public call out to nominate essential workers – from teachers to refuse collectors, to supermarket staff and bus drivers – we are celebrating individuals who have kept the wheels turning. Enjoy reading these stories and a putting a name to the face.
I would like to nominate Jackie Eccles as my Heroine during what has been a testing time through lockdown. Why? Because she continued to work with energy, compassion and unfailing optimism to support and bolster all her students in such an uncertain time. Her teaching created much needed routine and a sense of normalcy for her students, surpassing the realms of the virtual classroom defined by Teams. Who knew a living room could become a gym? She was like a female. Yorkshire, Joe Wicks. There was even a Virtual Sports Day!
In the remaining weeks of term, Jackie returned to the physical classroom on site, thinking less of her own safety and security and more about the students’ wellbeing. On behalf of all her students, I would like to thank Jackie for her tireless efforts.
She gets an A*!