Let’s face it, here in the UK we don’t get that much snow now do we? Well, okay I guess up in Scotland they see far more than we do here in Yorkshire. The funny thing is that since we moved to North Yorkshire just over 3 and a half years ago we’ve not really had any decent snowfall. Whereas back whence we came in Dewsbury they seem to get it every winter.
In general getting a good snowfall, and with the Beat From The East this week we’ve had some great snow, is rare and must be enjoyed while it lasts in my opinion. Maybe schools don’t feel the same though.
Schools and Snow
I do consider myself a pretty hardcore Yorkshireman when it comes to the weather. I’ll venture out in most conditions and in fact this week I’ve continued running despite the volume of snow on the ground. I go by the motto that “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing” and it works for me.
But schools closing is more than about clothing and being hardcore. Here in rural North Yorkshire our teenager have to catch a bus (it’s a coach) to school and back each day. Me personally driving my car in bad weather doesn’t alarm me, but a coach with up to 58 children on board in sketchy conditions is a different matter altogether.
On Tuesday we had snow but not too bad so the schools we open and all 4 went in. Then on Wednesday, the local primary school closed but as we heard nothing about the secondary…off they went. Then we learnt that some of the buses weren’t running but the main provider would be “trying to get through”. This annoyed me. If there’s ANY doubt that the bus is not safe for those kids then don’t travel, close the school and just accept it.
Then came a letter, emailed to all parents towards the end of the school day. The tone was clear, the senior management of the school was not happy that half the children didn’t go in. But they insisted lessons went on as normal. The view of the kids was that it was anything but a normal day at school, some even saying they played board games! I was even told a few teachers were openly moaning about having to come in and that the school should have closed.
Thankfully this morning, with worse conditions still the secondary school closed. But again, the tone of the email sent wasn’t great. They stated they were “forced to close the school” because their bus service providers weren’t operating. For me, from the PR point of view, maybe using the words “children’s safety” might have been better.
Snow Day Fun
I can’t ever claim to not be able to get into work as it’s just a few minutes walk from home. Well, maybe if we get 6 feet of snow drifts I could get away with it. I might not get a snow day like the girls but I can enjoy a bit of lunchtime sledging fun with them.
We were forced to improvise with some body boards when we met at a local hill but without a sledge. I’d seen some videos online and it worked well but sadly not for us. I think it was the wrong type of snow! Anyway, we tried. Fortunately, a kind friend let us use her spare sledge, a proper old style wood toboggan. It was brilliantly fast. A little too fast maybe. On the second run on it, Delilah and Verity hurtled down the hill gathering speed and people jumping out of the way. They hit a bump and veered left straight into a bramble bush. Removing Verity was a bit tricky. She was at the front and took the full force of the crash. Her face was scratched and she was bit shocked but otherwise seemed to have enjoyed it.
It was so nice to be on that hill with other kids enjoying their day off school. It’s not something that happens a lot so I find the “harms education” argument against closing schools to be so annoying. When did we suddenly accept the fun being taken out of childhood?
No Harm No Foul
It is slightly ironic though that we close school for safety reasons in the snow, then allow our children to hurtle down a hill at speed. But having fun is what it’s all about. The good endorphins released by the laughter. There’s nothing wrong with having fun once in a while and long may it continue.
Check out my Instagram for more of our snow activities.
Thanks for reading.