Mr Richards' words Lent week 6
As we move from ‘pandemic’ to ‘epidemic’, we reflect upon what was gained and what was lost throughout this most extraordinary time. The recent article in the TES reminded me that the main thing missing from the lives of our young people was social time. The article advocates longer break times as the most important structural change that will support mental health. As the leadership team meets to discuss next year’s timetable, it is great to know that there is evidence to support our investment in increasing social time for our young people. We have reinstated lunchtime activities (although nobody signed up for my Japanese culture club- sad face), implemented an excellent and improving games afternoon and after-school offer, ran a residential trip for Y9 (and a brave Y8) and an afternoon together in the Thicket for Y8.
I have already emailed parents of Y8 but I wanted to highlight how fantastic they were. The rain was ‘biblical’, the mud gave them a good insight into the conditions around Ypres in 1917 and the technology issues did not help but, as always, the young people were great. Their stoic approach to miserable conditions was inspirational, they got on with it all with (barely) a negative word. I was so proud of their positive attitude and I am sure that they will be retelling the story of that afternoon for the rest of their days. A special thank you to RSM Larkin, our SSI, who spent all day setting up the activities and did such a great job of geeing up the group, showing he was ‘ready for anything’.
Personal and Social Education has always been important but in the (post) covid world, it is essential. As parents will recall from our various announcements with regards to our pastoral education so far this year, we have been updating our approach to include the major on-line tools of JIGSAW (PSHE) and Careers (Unifrog). As a consequence, we have now updated our written content for the PSHE programme published in our various year group curriculum guides. We have taken some specific actions with regards to the compulsory element of Relationship & Sex Education (RSE), to ensure that those components of the programme supported by our school nurses in their work are very clearly signposted.
As a consequence, we are holding a whole school video conference for parents and guardians on Tuesday evening, 8 March from 7pm, Entitled Claires Court’s approach to Relationship & Sex Education, we will be joined by Marilyn Hawes, one of our independent advisory consultants whose campaign ‘Freedom from Abuse’ sees her lead the country’s thinking in this regards. Marilyn was also awarded “Most inspirational Woman of the year 2017” for her work in this field“, where she passionately believes victims need not make their childhood abuse a life sentence –with appropriate therapy and support systems they can thrive - not merely survive!
- 7pm Introductions by two of our headteachers; Stephanie Rogers (Sixth Form) and Leanne Kirby (Juniors)
- 7.10pm Marilyn Hawes outlines the current challenges for schools and families
- 7.30pm Questions
- 7.40pm Secondary Deputy Heads Pastoral Huw Buckle and Victoria Ruddick speak about how RSE fits into the secondary schedule
- 7.50pm SRN Nicola Bose explains how, in practice, she teaches a Year 7 lesson
- 8pm further Q&A
- 8.15pm Final words and thank - James Wilding
The event will be recorded and made available on the school website.