Like everyone else in the country, the adjustment to a ‘new normal’ has been a challenge for us all in the school community but just as I would expect from these wonderful people they have responded in a remarkable way.
A few students have continued to attend provision at the school to allow keyworkers to undertake their critical roles and have been well supported by staff from the high school and our primary colleagues too. We do thank our contract colleagues in the kitchen, cleaning and grounds teams who have worked alongside us in our efforts.
The majority of students are working at home and, as many of you will know, that brings challenges; the Wi-Fi signal, taking turns on the laptop, finding space to work and establishing a routine. Staff have shared online learning materials with students, linked to the curriculum and consolidating prior learning, and for each block of work nearly 200 sets of work have been printed and posted out. There have been some remarkable examples of work sent back into teachers, showing us that our students are committed to doing their best. We would like to thank all of the parents/carers and siblings who have offered support too, we know it is not always easy but this has allowed learning to continue during the lockdown.
There has also been a wider scope of support with many phone calls being made to check in with students and regular email contact with all. Maintaining strong emotional and physical wellbeing is crucial for everyone at this time and staff across the school have been involved in promoting this. Regular student bulletins share wellbeing and safeguarding advice, learning challenges and celebrating the success of students – and they have been busy!
There have been sports challenges, Stepping up for the NHS and ‘climbing”’ the Eiffel Tower, many students are walking and cycling every day or doing Jo Wicks’ workout. Students are competitive in their spelling in KS3 English and online in many subjects. We have been delighted to see Easter cakes, a shaved head for charity, images of rainbows and all manner of uplifting images and videos from our students; see our facebook page or twitter to see more.
We miss the students being here and will look forward to welcoming them back. This will bring its own challenges. In the meantime we wish everyone locally well – keep smiling and safe.
Headteacher, Maéve Taylor