Summer, September and Beyond…

Welcome to the latest blog of the Summer term. It has been lovely to see some Year 10 students back in school for their face-to-face sessions over the past couple of weeks and I hope that these have been useful. Those Year 10 students who have chosen to access the sessions virtually have also been engaging well. We have also extended the “live” lessons via Microsoft Teams to Year 9 and have, of course, continued to deliver these to Year 10.

We do not yet know what September will look like, though detailed guidance has been promised for later this week. Please keep an eye on the website – I will of course share the details with you as soon as we have them. At the moment, the plan is to bring all secondary school students back into school full-time and we are planning carefully to find ways of doing this safely.

As we approach the end of the strangest Summer term ever, we have been somewhat “cheered up” by some excellent news this week. The Department for Education invites annual bids from schools wishing to improve their facilities and we have benefitted from this fund in the past, with the Inclusion Centre and table tennis facilities being funded through these bids. This year, we bid for a relatively large sum of money to build a new English & Maths block. We were told this week that this bid has been successful to the tune of £3.3 million. Work on the new block will begin as soon as possible and could be complete by the end of next academic year. We have also been granted a further £114,000 for school security fencing to help keep students safe.

It is very exciting to be able to report something wholly positive at this very strange time. I must place on record my thanks to the team involved in preparing and submitting the successful bids.

I must also place on record my thanks to our students and parents for being so supportive of the school over the course of the lockdown. Heads of Year and other members of staff have found their ‘phone calls home to be overwhelmingly positive and there has been some really positive feedback. Of course, we know that we won’t have got everything right over this period, but we do try to take on board your suggestions and concerns. You can, of course, continue to send in questions and concerns through the email address, or through your child’s Head of Year.

I hope to be in touch next week or early the week after with details of the plan for September – as soon as the guidance is published to schools. I think we would all appreciate some certainty and clarity as we reach the end of this term.