Dear Parents

The theme of Countdown has permeated the Secondary School of late. Mr. McCartney hosted House Countdown (part deux) and the trophy was jointly shared by Jupiter and Venus houses after a nail-biting finish. The countdown to the imminent holiday is on everyone's mind, after a particularly testing term, not least of which was the second set of I/GCSE and A level mocks this year in readiness for the countdown to Centre Awarded Grades this summer.

We have now received more concrete information from the examination authorities about how GCSE and A level grades will be awarded this year. The core is that schools gather evidence, mostly in the form of assessments and coursework, teachers mark the assessments, schools moderate internally and the examination authorities sanction the grades. We are used to this process after last year's procedures and the Y11 and Y12 students have been applying themselves diligently to the necessity of meeting the targets. They are working very hard. Their results will be released in August 2021. The countdown has almost begun.

I hope you have had the chance to view the one-year anniversary video we produced to mark the events of this time last year and to listen to our wonderful students speak about their experiences over the past 12 months. Please surf in and watch, and marvel, at the fortitude, good humour, maturity and pathos of our children. They are a credit to you and to all of us.

Hopefully, we are counting down to a return to some form of normality in due course.

The BSME Writing Competition winners – Congratulations to Naomi Mathenge, Kanzah Khan, Gaia Buffa and Malvika Bindinganavile. Book Week was much appreciated by everyone, not just for the costumes but also for the opportunity to decorate the classrooms which have become a second home for everyone this year. It is amazing what a splash of colour can do.

We received a fantastic set of entries for the House Photography Competition. All the shots will be displayed but we will look at putting the winners on permanent display in due course so that once school re-opens everyone can enjoy and appreciate them. The winner's names will be announced in the next Newsletter.

Thank you to all of our parents for supporting us through these blended, swab-testing, and exam testing unique times. Please look at our video and you will appreciate why we all keep going and why our children are the best!

Yours sincerely

Ken Haggarty