Message From The Headmaster
As we come to the end of a busy half term I’d like to congratulate our pupils and staff on all their many and varied achievements over the last few weeks, from the setting and taking of online assessments, to huge levels of engagement in House Challenges and Tutor Time and unwavering commitment to their Home Learning and Post-16 Courses. It is truly amazing to see what we have achieved together as a community.
The planned re-opening of the College for Year 10 and Lower Sixth after half term is of course, foremost in our minds. Our team has worked tremendously hard to pull together what we feel is a robust and comprehensive plan to enable these year groups to have meaningful face to face contact with their teachers and a positive educational experience, whilst minimising the risk of infection.
Our approach necessarily differs somewhat from that of the Foundation junior schools where creating a ‘bubble’ for the pupils, as outlined by the government for primary schools, is possible. The government guidance for senior schools is much more limited but recognises for secondary schools that there will be some subject specialist rotation of staff.
With GCSE and A-level option choices and setting in key subjects such as English and Maths, it is our view that it would simply not be possible for pupils to be limited to just one group when coming into school. Rather we have focused on strict social distancing measures between pupils and staff at all times and a thorough cleaning regime throughout the school day to minimise the risk of infection.
Comprehensive risk assessments and final planning documents are now mostly in place and will be further scrutinised over the days ahead to ensure we are fully happy with compliance of regulations, health and safety.
As I write, I am aware that the Independent SAGE Report has just been published and we are also expecting a further government announcement next week; we hope these will give further clarity and that we get the green light to go ahead as planned. We will of course communicate our full plans with parents, pupils and staff in good time for the planned return to school on Monday 1 June.
Wishing you all a very good Bank Holiday weekend and half term break.