Dear Parents,

It has been a pleasure to stand at the gate each morning and welcome students back to school, to chat with parents and to see the school coming back to life. No hot temperature or high humidity can extinguish the smiles (behind the masks!).

We are all grateful to our parents for their fortitude in supporting our re-opening and to our amazing students for coping with the new 'normal' as we establish learning under the aegis of directives from the authorities, designed to protect us all. We have now been open for a month and routines are being established. It is humbling to see how well the children are coping, how resilient they are how cheerful they remain.

A significant number of live lessons are now established for students obliged to remain at home and we expect to maintain these as we continue our recently increased provision going forward. The immediate impact of the new rota has been for Year 11 and Year 12, has reverted to a standard timetable. However, due to restrictions on numbers in lessons and maintenance of social distancing there will be some flexibility required, particularly in Year 11 GCSE Business, Computing and Physics lessons.

Year 7 - Year 10 moving to a day-on / day-off rota has helped them to establish a more regular pattern of learning. It is important that they continue to engage from home using the VLE and streams. We are all very appreciative of our parent's understanding and support in this process.

Thank you to all of the Year 7 parents who participated in the recent Zoom conferences to understand the navigation of Canvas. The sessions were well received and went a long way to addressing access issues. I am grateful to Year 7 parents, in particular, for appreciating that the dynamic of a Secondary school, whereby a single teacher can contact in excess of 250 students each week, is completely different to Year 6 where a single class teacher takes responsibility for up to 25 children. Therefore, the immediacy of Dojo is not possible as Secondary children have 10+ teachers each week and Secondary teachers engage with hundreds of different students on a weekly basis.

Our Sixth Form class have found their new home on the 2nd floor a welcome haven and are enjoying the space, the common room and the tranquility of their bubble. We look forward to them descending to join the rest of us in due course! It was pleasing to see our sixth formers wearing their new, smart uniforms with pride as stock arrived this week. We will continue to monitor uniforms for other year groups as uniform stocks become available. For the time being, we are being flexible.

I am very proud of the way all of our students have coped with the new routines and restrictions. They are a wonderful group and all of their teachers got a great lift to have them back in the building.

Next week will see registration for A level modular examinations in early 2021, and so the rhythm of the school returns. Thank you for all of your support, encouragement and flexibility.

Yours sincerely

Ken Haggarty

Head of Secondary