I am so incredibly proud of the way in which our community continues to respond to our current challenges. This week we’ve started to see some of our younger students in the Foundation returning to school for the first time in several months, and whilst the guidance is that it’s too soon for the Senior School to come back, it does give us hope that the end of this extended period of remote school may be in sight!
You may have seen details in the national press about the proposed return for Year 10 and Year 12 students later this term for some face-to-face contact to enhance their remote learning. The Government advice makes it clear that the main educational experience should continue to be remote learning, and that schools will all be limited to no more than one quarter of the year group on site at any one time. We are drawing up final arrangements to provide some opportunities for those students in Year 10 who are able to return for a small number of focused sessions to support the delivery of the creative subjects where practical work is more central to the experience. I’ll be writing to Year 10 parents in the coming weeks to outline the final arrangements for these opportunities. Whilst these are all small steps, it is great to be starting to talk about having students back on site in some form soon.
Whilst not confirmed at this stage, the tone from the current government guidance now makes it clear that it’s unlikely that we will be allowed to have students from Years 7-9 back on site before the end of this academic year. I know this will be disappointing, as we are all keen to return to some semblance of normality. However we will continue to do all we can to deliver an excellent educational experience, but at a distance, until we are all back together again.
One of the privileges of being a Head is getting to talk with my outstanding colleagues about what goes on in their classrooms, and whilst the physical classrooms have disappeared, and the opportunity for those informal conversations over a cup of tea have gone, we’ve taken the process online, like everything else, and I’ve really enjoyed recording a number of podcasts with my colleagues in Art and Drama about how they’ve adapted their practical and creative subjects to this new virtual world. I’ll be recording some more of these over the coming half-term, which I hope will provide you with greater insight to the fantastic work which my colleagues are doing to adapt and reinterpret the educational experience at a distance.
I always look forward to the final half-term of the year; it is normally a very busy time full of celebration and the formality of end of year exams. Whilst this half-term is far from normal, we will continue to look for novel means to continue to celebrate the phenomenal success of our outstanding students and provide them opportunities to show what they’ve learned over the course of the year, whilst in the background we will be planning for the unknowable situation we will face in September.
I hope you, and your families, are keeping well in these unusual times.
Dr Andy Kemp
Head of Senior School
Stephen Perse Podcast
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