Mr Wilding's Words Week 5
It has been Year 11 ‘Mocks’ week here at Senior Boys, when our GCSE students have experienced their first set of examinations for two years! It has been a bit of a ‘shocker’ for some, having to sit still for 90 or so minutes and face the challenge of reading, writing and showing off their analytical skills on passages, texts and ‘give of their best’. As we face the clear and present danger of ‘teaching and learning during a pandemic’, at least our Year 11 have ‘laid some rubber on the road’ and we have a starting point of standards achieved at the start of this academic year. Come what may, it is clear that our boys and girls have a full year of studies ahead of them, and that they are very much up for the challenge and willing to stretch and work hard to make further progress through the year. Well done boys, and thanks so much to Mrs Carr and her invigilating team for establishing a sound and sensible examination hall for us all.
More generally, school is becoming ‘canopy fantastic’ as we increase the coverage outside to protect our community from the regular showers, and we have managed to relocate both the Year 11 lockers and the boat club into our astro field shelters and locker shelters to provide even more covered space for our activities. I have an utter dread of the rain when it comes, reinforced by the very obvious joy the boys are showing in their breaktime play, allowing for the blowing off of steam before another hour of concentration and application.
Our outdoor education department, led by Paul Robson and Head of Year 9 Will Ansell, supported by Outdoor Academy instructors and equipment, ran an amazing day of challenging learning and skills acquisition down at our Taplow playing fields. Whilst we were not able to run the whole gambit of team building that such days encompass, Year 9 boys and girls took every opportunity to show their skills and support their friends. Such opportunities to learn outside the classroom are invaluable, and we look forward to inviting Outdoor Academy back to assist us with further sessions with other year groups as well in 2021, hopefully without quite the same social distancing requirements in place!
And finally, teachers are putting their half term grades to press now, and form tutors penning their first thoughts of the year so far; grade cards will be published on the parent portal on Friday 23 October, accompanied with my guidance on how to read them! I cannot believe that we have managed to get this far through the term as fully as I dared to hope and the ‘circuit break’ of our two week half term permits us to complete any isolations taking place and give us all a break from what has been, it must be said, a pretty exhausting experience. Your help, support and kind words have been so greatly appreciated.