Extraordinary” students celebrated throughout Lockdown

Commending our “outstanding” students, CSIAs ‘Extraordinary Me’ programme continues to inspire the school community in the face of a global pandemic.

Staff and students encourage each other to stay motivated during lockdown, to build their character and maintain their personal wellbeing, in addition to a full program of online and in-school learning.

“A quote that we stand by when we are considering the wellbeing of our school community at this time is ‘We are all in the same storm, but in different boats’.  One of our character values is altruism where we promote that we should be kind to others and to ourselves” said Mrs Gellatly, Assistant Principal for Character Education. “We are sharing a variety of strategies to support one another during lockdown that we can put into practice now and build upon as we continue to look after our personal wellbeing. We are incredibly proud of the resilient manner that our students have approached lockdown with. They are exemplifying our character values every day in all they do.”

CSIA have a set of character values that they say form the core of being someone who is a success in all areas of their life and brings positivity to the lives of others.

Since the first lockdown in March last year, students have been undertaking various activities and experiences whilst remote learning.

“The breadth of challenges has been extraordinary, and we continue to be humbled by our students’ resilience and determination at such a difficult time. House Challenges to date include a daily Kahoot Quiz based on national and international days, a keepy-uppy challenge and a Bake-Off – which included members of the PE team doing a mass bake-off via Zoom!” continued Mrs Gellatly. “In addition, the House Art competition saw students designing motivational artwork to inspire others as part of a new art installation in the school to promote positivity and mental wellbeing. We’re so proud of what our students have achieved this year, in the face of such adversity.”

Student leaders play a key role in motivating others through the Distance Leadership Programme, demonstrating how they may build they leadership skills at home and through the online school community.

“Each year group has a Student Parliament who, along with the House Captains, are active in leading on wellbeing and leadership, sharing examples of what they have had successes with and being honest about what hasn’t worked for them, but may work for others!” commented Mrs Gellatly. “New to this lockdown are ‘Motivational Mondays’ which are hosted online and in-school. Staff and students share videos, quotes, and personal wellbeing tips to motivate themselves and others.”

One video was of Maths teacher Mr Game who took time after his lessons to do an 8km run and share wellbeing tips with his tutor group whilst running. He shared the importance of fresh air and exercise after spending time in front of a screen all day.

“In addition, students and staff are involved in weekly whole school fitness workouts with the PE team putting everyone through their paces, alongside interviews with sports stars who are sharing how they look after themselves physically and mentally.  Students are also involved in science and chess challenges and our tutorial programme encourages a love of reading with a number texts shared with students and book reviews to celebrate the positive impact literature can have” continued Mrs Gellatly.

Ms Kneath, English teacher, said “Reading allows me to travel anywhere in the world through the pages of a book, which is incredibly important for wellbeing during lockdown.”

On Friday 29th January, the whole school community engaged in a variety of character value challenges as part of the ‘Extraordinary Me Home Learning Awards’ which were a huge success with students during the last national lockdown.

“Students at home and in school completed challenges that build character away from the screen and linking their activities to our character values. Teachers prepared a series of videos as inspiration for their students encouraging creativity, exercise, caring for others, DIY and a whole range of other wellbeing and life skill activities” commented Mr Simmonds, Assistant Principal.

“Not only are we committed to the academic success of our students, but we are also committed to their success as people. Our Character Value Challenge supported our students’ wellbeing, provided opportunities to showcase their talents, develop their character and make a positive difference to both themselves and their support bubbles.”

The reception from students to the ‘Extraordinary Me’ programme has been “fantastic” with many commenting on how much they had achieved, despite the restrictions of lockdown and remote learning.

“It’s all about celebrating student achievements and recognising how they have strengthened their characters. It may be a very unsettling time, but our students are building valuable life skills and developing as extraordinary people as a result,” added Mr Simmonds.

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