Wes Streeting visit to Clore Tikva School

Clore Tikva school encourages children to know and understand the world around them, whether natural or man-made. It is important to us that children understand democracy and the role that MPs and government play in society. We were fortunate to welcome our local Member of Parliament Wes Streeting MP to school for the Kabbalat Shabbat assemblies for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 on Friday 14th January.

After each assembly, before presenting Golden Awards to the children he spoke with the children about MPs, what they did, where they worked and took children’s questions. He and other guests were very impressed by the full participation in assembly of all children and by the maturity of their responses. What was striking however was the difference in responses between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 1. This went beyond differences of understanding which are age related. It revealed how affected the children have been by the pandemic. Children in Key Stage 1 were asked, if they were prime minister for a day, what would they do. There were delightful answers regarding friendship and playing. However, a lot focused on safety – cleaning surfaces, face masks and keeping distance from family and friends. It reflected their experience of lockdown, not being at school, an understanding of risk from COVID, and social distancing. This is despite school operating relatively normally, and easing of restrictions. Covid remains

Like most other schools we have focused on mental health and used the Heads Up for Kids materials throughout the Pandemic. We have focussed on PSHCE, getting the curriculum back to full creativity as well as finding fun ways of catching up in Maths and English. However, reflecting on Friday’s assembly, there is much more to be done, and the academic year so far, the impact of the pandemic on children’s lives has been overwhelming.

A child in Year 1 or younger has never experienced a full, traditional year at school. A child in Year 2 last had a “normal” experience of school in Nursery. The gaps are significant across all schools but Key Stage 1 children have little to draw on in their experience to know what normal is. We will continue to prioritise mental health and well-being, resilience, enjoyment, investigation and playfulness, alongside identifying and closing gaps in learning.

Margot Buller Head teacher at Clore Tikva said ‘We are grateful to Wes Streeting MP for taking the time to share his experience and knowledge of Democracy with our children. It is so important that children of all ages become familiar with the governance of our country and the roles MPs and government have in making and approving laws so that we are all safe and have the schools and services that we need.’

We Streeting commented; “I’m grateful to the teachers and children at Clore Tikva for inviting me to speak with them about how our democracy works. The students’ knowledge of politics, their insightful questions and ideas were really impressive. I was particularly delighted to be present for the Shabbat assembly and to take part in handing out some well-earned prizes.”



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