Message from the Headmistress
Where did April go? Was it the cruellest month? (ref TS Eliot) or was it just an alternative version of normal with more sunshine?
At the end of this week we have welcomed Mrs Bamber back to work to continue our engagement with our prospective parents who will be joining the school in September. We have already started to plan our transitional arrangements for all our current pupils as well as towards the end of this term they look forward to their flying up days. We have a set of different ideas given the uncertainty about schools being allowed to fully reopen and about social gatherings. I remind parents that they can help us with our September roll by recommending the school to their friends and colleagues. The recommend vouchers are still valid and remember you and your recommended parent receive a £50 voucher once the new child is on the roll and have paid their first terms fees.
I hope you have been keeping an eye on our social media and liking all the fabulous things we are still getting up to. It takes more than a lockdown to stifle our creativity clearly. Miss Hutley welcomes submissions from parents who would like us to celebrate the things being done at home, even if they are nothing to do with school work. Please send any submissions, especially anything you are doing to support your community or to raise money for good causes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will notice that we are increasing our provision of face to face contact for lessons and pastoral time. (See the timetables below). We know sometimes the technology goes wrong and we thank all staff and pupils for their enduring efforts to interact in this way. 85 senior pupils and staff attended Mr Dean’s assembly this week and it was wonderful to see the pupils’ positive engagement with this through their emoji chats!
I have been most impressed by the efforts of so many of our pupils with their online studies and the star of the week notices for all year groups in Senior School demonstrate that most are working hard. I hope we can get to 100% engagement shortly.
I remain a little concerned especially with a few of our Year 10 cohort, some of whom are missing a lot of their curriculum time at the moment. This time will never come back. I urge all to recognise the importance of continuing with the specifications. The teachers are all working incredibly hard so that they will not be disadvantaged in 2021 when they sit their examinations.
We are eagerly awaiting next weeks’ government briefing on their schedule for opening up the country again. We are assuming that schools will partially open for some year groups, with specific guidelines in place and we have started to plan for this likelihood. There will be much more to come on this in next week’s update.
Next week is the May Day Bank Holiday – moved from the usual Monday to the Friday to celebrate VE day. School will be closed for key workers’ children and teachers will not be putting work online on this day (Friday 8th May). We are hoping that staff and pupils can take a relaxing long weekend off.
For the theatre lovers out there – you must watch Benedict Cumberbatch in Frankenstein on NT Live YouTube. He is awesome…
Finally from me today – take a look at this poem written by Kathleen O’Meara. It was written in 1869 just after the Irish Famine then was reprinted in 1918 following the outbreak of Spanish Flu.
And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and listened deeper
someone met their shadow
and people began to think differently
and people healed
and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,
dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
even the earth began to heal
and when the danger ended
and people found each other
grieved for the dead people
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways of life
and healed the earth completely
just as they were healed themselves.
Whilst it would stand some updating for 2020, there is much which resonates still. Take a look at the last 4 lines for the hope which sustains us.
I wish you all a lovely weekend and keep well.
Message from the Head of Juniors
Click here to view this week’s Stars of the Week.
I hope you have all had a good week. Unfortunately, the weather has not been quite so favourable but hopefully the sunshine will return soon.
Firstly, well done to all children who have submitted their Science Fair work. These projects allowed the children to explore an area of interest and I am so impressed with the finished products and the time and effort they have clearly put into these. Please keep the boards or presentations so that the children can bring these into school when we are open again. Congratulations to the winners from each year group! The competition results can be viewed here. Thank you to Mrs Keyworth for organising this.
I am really impressed with the children’s commitment to their studies and how they have adapted to working in a different way. We completely understand that it may not always be possibly to complete each and every task and just ask the children to do what they can; we know how important it is to take well-earned breaks at the weekend.
You may well remember Perform for Schools visiting us earlier in the year and working with the children in EYFS – Year 3. They certainly had a lot of fun during these workshops. The company has contacted us to let us know they have started online drama classes (for children in Reception to Year 6), featuring singing, dancing, storytelling and drama. You learn more by looking on the website: https://www.perform.org.uk/classes-courses/perform-at-home. They are offering a free trial session and will be exploring Peter Pan with KS1 and The Greatest Showman with KS2. For further information, please call 0207 255 9120 or email email@example.com.
It has been great to see so many children taking advantage of our Teams lessons this week and staff have enjoyed catching up with the children in addition to delivering their lessons. This is new to all of us and we are learning too so thank you for your patience. Lessons for next week are as follows:
Please note that some of these session will be group work and form teachers will contact you to let you know the specific time of your session.
Please could I remind you that if children are in school, they need to bring their own stationery and reading books together with workbooks they were issued with before school closure.
Next Friday is of course Bank Holiday, and school will be closed for the long weekend.
Have a lovely weekend,
Head of Juniors