It is tempting to use the timesaving 'copy and paste' method to summarise this year - because the same phrases reoccur. Things like, getting better, hopeful about next term, etc. But, it is true! When you look back, even to this time last year with our GCSE and A level candidates being subjected to the assessment trauma of Centre Assessed Grades, it is clear that things have come a long way. And, whilst not quite a return to normality, the fact is that the trajectory is upwards.
Our Year 13 cohort are now making their way to Universities in England, Holland, Australia, Canada, France, Qatar, the UAE, Germany and other locations around the world. External examinations have run like clockwork this year. Our first Prize Giving recently saw the Auditorium full of parents and students. The hybrid learning system is presently history. Compare this with April 2020 and it is clear that the protocols put in place and assiduously followed are having a positive effect.
We are very proud of our students and the way they have absorbed all the challenges thrown their way. We are also extremely grateful for the support and understanding of our parents when unexpected things or medical issues surface.
This term has seen the first out of school trip, the GCSE and A level Art Exhibition, Prize Giving, Year 13 Graduation, our first whole school Assembly in over two years, external examinations completed and other small, but significant milestones each day. There are still hurdles to overcome, but the optimism for next term is not misplaced. It is palpable.
Next term will see the school move to the final, and biggest stage of our accreditation by the Council of International Schools (CIS). You will hear more about this in due course. And then, there is the World Cup! We will conduct our own World Cup draw and rename each Secondary Form after their allocated national team in August, in readiness for the tournament. Towards the end of next term we will have an internal (but redacted) tournament, based on the actual World Cup draw and following the same format to see which class is the recipient of the Oryx World Cup. Mr. Parmar is presently working on the format and will announce it after the holiday.
It only remains for me to thank you all for your words of kindness and encouragement, your support of your wonderful children and your understanding in the face of shared adversity.
Have a lovely, deserved summer holiday. See you (hopefully, in person!), in August.
Mr. Ken Haggerty