“Never be so busy as not to think of others.” – Mother Teresa

A member of staff reminded me last week that I haven’t updated this blog for a while, for which I apologise. Sometimes, the helter-skelter nature of school life (which I love, by the way because I am never bored) means that it’s difficult to carve out an hour or two to write something. But a lot has happened the past couple of months and I know it’s important to keep all of you in the loop. Rather than write one huge blog, I’ll just cover the main events today and then update you further in the next few weeks.

So, what’s been happening at the school?

COVID-19:

The first thing is that COVID-19 cases have been rising in the local area over the past 2 weeks. We have been distributing home kits since March but I wrote to the whole community last Friday to stress the importance of testing. It is really important that we continue to do this to keep all of us safer and also to minimize the impact on the school. I know that some local schools have had to send staff and students home recently so the more vigilant we are, the safer the school environment is. Please see my letter here

Year 11 Grades:

It has been a particularly busy couple of months at school, with the organisation, marking and admin work compiling the Year 11 students’ portfolios for assessment. The process this year for deciding the students’ final GCSE and BTEC grades has been really time consuming and myself, Miss Cambridge (Deputy Headteacher) and Mrs Fry (Examinations Officer) all breathed a sigh of relief when we sent off the school’s moderation sample last week. A separate letter will be sent out to all Year 11s early this week which will explain it all in greater detail.

Improving the Facilities:

Over the Easter holiday, we installed our second canopy area by Sydney, our science block. A third one is due to be erected over the summer holiday (opposite our Tokyo block) and then a fourth will go up at some point next year. This is all part of our medium to long-term strategy to improve the catering facilities for students. Linked to that, we are also going to have 2 catering outlets which will probably be completed in October (the plans have been approved and they are being constructed in the next couple of months). This, linked with a refurbishment of our Dining Hall and ‘Deli’ counter, should make break and lunch better for the children next year. When I receive back the final plans for the catering outlets I will share them but we are all very excited at the improvement this should make.

School Diversity Week:

We celebrated School Diversity Week together last week. It’s really important, I think, to continue to promote inclusivity in this way in recognition that we are a mixed, diverse community. The rainbow cookies that our wonderful catering team produced all week were particularly popular. There was a lovely article in the Daily Echo that recognized what the school is doing- it’s well worth a read – here

Cycling to School:

Finally, if your child cycles to school, could you please remind them to wear a cycle helmet. I have noticed an increased number of students who are not doing so. I have written several times over the past couple of years on this subject and it does worry me that many of our children are taking an unnecessary risk in choosing not to wear a helmet. The most common responses from students are either that it’s not cool to wear one, or that it messes up their hair. I could quote all kinds of statistics to back up my argument but the plain fact is that the helmet protects the head from damage in the event of an accident. We will pick this up in tutor groups but I would really appreciate you reinforcing this message at home.

I hope you all have a good week and fingers crossed for England on Tuesday night!

ALARIC GOVAN
Headteacher