A HEADTEACHER has praised her community as she settles into the new leadership role during the pandemic.
Anna Myatt took on her first primary school headship in September at Roydon Primary Academy, in Roydon.
Having joined the school several months previously, Mrs Myatt was able to start to get to know her pupils and their families before taking the reins.
With Covid-19 continuing to force schools to adjust the way they work to protect children and staff, headteachers are faced with daily challenges and dilemmas.
Mrs Myatt, head of school, said: “After six months of remote learning, the top of my agenda was looking after the children’s mental health. They are given opportunities to talk about how they are feeling and we are making sure they feel safe and secure at school. We studied the book Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers, which gives an optimistic snapshot of life and gave a positive start to school for our children.
“I also introduced Wellbeing Wednesday to promote mindfulness to the children. They get the opportunity to try different activities, including drawing and talking about their feelings.
“I was fortunate enough to work with our key worker children during the partial closure of school, but there is nothing like having a full compliment of children in school. There was so much excitement on the first day of school; they were really happy to be back.
“The great thing about being a part of BMAT Education is there is a support network within our other schools and that has really helped me to settle into the new role as we all work together. I meet via Teams with the other primary school heads in the Trust every fortnight to share ideas and concerns. Yes, there have been lots of changes, but I have a wonderful team in school who have taken everything in their stride.”
The pandemic meant Mrs Myatt’s plans to start meeting members of staff and parents face to face regularly from Easter had to be cancelled.
She said: “Everything we have done has had to be done virtually, including meetings, assemblies and parents’ evenings. It has been very different. It would have been great to have been able to get the whole school together for assembly; I would have loved that. We are looking forward to being able to do that in the future.
“As a brand-new head, it has been lovely to see that our parents are very supportive of the school.”
While the first half-term was about ensuring the school was Covid-safe, the focus has shifted this half-term to the curriculum, oracy, developing writing and staff training.
Mrs Myatt said: “We can already see the difference in the quality of our pupils’ writing, from the start of September to now. They have come back from remote lessons really keen to get on with their learning. Their attitude to school has been amazing. They have taken to all of the changes like ducks to water. I thought they might have felt anxious coming back to school, but I have been surprised with how well they have come back and got on with it.”
Mrs Myatt has held several positions within BMAT schools since joining Burnt Mill Academy as a newly qualified teacher in 2002.
She has since held posts as head of geography, head of humanities and assistant head at Burnt Mill, before moving to Forest Hall School, in Stansted, as SENCo, associate head and head of school.
Since January, she has been making the transition into primary education as the Trust’s primary associate head.
Mrs Myatt said: “I love it! It is very different to working in secondary schools; I was surprise with quite how different it is. The children and teachers are so enthusiastic; you can’t help but love coming to work.”
Popularity: 1% [?]