Staff at Livability’s Victoria School represent a wide range of skills, from trained therapists to drivers, from care staff to horticulturalists. Following October half-term, school head Gill Lyon tells us why she’s proud of all her staff, and how they live out the charity’s ‘open’ value, every day.
Despite the uncertainty in the outside world, the staff team and the students have responded positively to the challenges of the ‘new normal’ and have embraced the changes with a sense of calm, without losing the important element of fun and laughter! Staff have worked hard to support our students and to make these changes as smooth as possible. This has profoundly demonstrated our value of being open, requiring all staff to listen, respond and adapt to meet individual student’s needs and experiences. Student wellbeing has been everyone’s highest priority and the impact on the students is clear to see as they are settled, feeling safe and secure within their bubbles.
In a recent student survey, students scored our (outstanding!) PE teacher out of a 100 in the category of ‘sportiness’, with some students scoring Mr Simon Higgins rather lower than he felt he deserved – but settling at a respectable 96 out of 100! Plus in our staff wellbeing questionnaire we had such a positive response, indicating that staff felt happy, safe and supported to be back at work.
Double dining sittings and utilising the canteen space twice has really worked, to make sure people have sufficient time and space to enjoy their dining experience on a daily basis.
Zoom teaching has seen teachers able to travel around the school from the comfort of their own desk, delivering sessions such as ICT through the medium of technology, in order to keep our ‘hard bubbles’ as safe as they can be.
The staff have done an incredible job of remaining positive and open to change and innovative practices during this time and so it may be that maintaining this level of positivity could be a challenge. We will work to face any oncoming challenges and I’m sure the team will continue to prove their sense of resilience. Change can often make us feel uneasy and so it will be important to focus on our staff team’s wellbeing during this time.