Blog: A school is so much more than bricks and mortar

April 2021

Over the last few months as life has evolved through the pandemic, my thoughts have turned towards our schools.  For many years we have all associated school with the building itself and the provision the buildings themselves can offer our children. Does the building have a lovely outside space, does it have an up-to-date tech? Can my children climb apparatus during PE? The list of questions we as parents ask our selves when selecting the right school for our children is usually endless.

If we pause and reflect, take a step back and take a long hard look, together with all the other things that the arrival of Covid 19 and the pandemic has taught and shown us, we have come to realise that actually none of these lists of ‘must haves’ are as important as we thought.

Our schools have shown us and our children that the buildings themselves are just shells without the teachers, staff, and children. School is so much more than bricks and mortar. School is a community and can take place anywhere, sure it may be different, but what a wonderful example our children have been shown. Every single child, every single teacher, support assistant and staff member together with our children makes the school a school.

Prior to the pandemic, when parents and visitors were welcomed into our schools, we can remember the positive feeling on entering. The over whelming warmth, the sounds of children’s laughter, and the buzz of learning as it takes place. That buzz, that vibrancy, has little to do with the building itself, it is about the people in it.

When we talk about resilience and life lessons learnt from experiencing the pandemic, what better a lesson than this for our children, and maybe for us all. Our children now truly understand the meaning of a school, of being part of a community, of a class and have a true understanding of collective responsibility, what it means to be resilient. Now more than ever they have been shown that where we learn, and our surroundings do not really matter. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, when in difficult times we all pull together and rise to the challenges put in front of us! Of course, surroundings can make us more comfortable and allow us to physically be together. But there is a much bigger and far more important life lesson that has taken place in the last year.  “A school is made of bricks and mortar, but a real school, is made by the people who go there.”

Sarah Jacobs
Wellbeing Practitioner JCAT & PaJeS