Mr Wilding's words Lent week 10
Thanks to all of our parents whose cheerful messages of support for our work here back in school; from the gentle glow arising for the superb organisation of the nursing team for in-house vaccinations and lateral flow testing, to last Friday’s mass packing of thousands of home-kits for the follow-up exercise you are now undertaking. Thanks to your sons too, for showing their true relish for being back at school live in lessons and for managing that unusual addition to life in the classroom of mask wearing and where possible social distancing. I can report from the staff room that the teachers too are really pleased to be back in person, and as we plan for our Summer term return, we even have cricket fixtures and activity weeks in the planning with some genuine hope that we will actually carry them out!
We have continued to keep Year 11 up to speed with the rapidly developing situation as the exam boards begin to release information on the precise nature of the grade awarding process. Their Thursday assembly with me this week focused on clarifying some of those issues, not least the vexed issue of what work counts best moving forward. Whilst we await the very detailed specification from one of five exam boards, it is work completed in class with the teacher present that has the highest priority. We expect the exam boards to complete their declarations by 31 March, and as a consequence we will provide a clear calendar of activity for April, May and early June that we hope will settle minds accordingly.
Red Nose Day sees us working to support both the national charity of Comic Relief and in addition our own outreach project work in The Gambia, to the education centre we’ve helped set up and to which our own students paid their first visit October 2019. At assembly on Monday I replayed a short clip of that trip, a joyous reminder of its purpose, to show young Gambians that teenage adults can aspire to teach, coach sport and remain in education, and we do hope to return there when circumstances allow. Whilst primary education in The Gambia is available for free, that offer does not include school buildings or transport, and our financial support covers both development costs and individual child finding. Of the 64 children in the school, 30 are still in need of sponsorship - you can find the direct payment link to the Gambia on the Parent Portal if you’d be willing to contribute directly.
And finally, there were very many super powers visible on site today, not least in the form of one of the Guardians of the Galaxy who dropped in for a chat with the school. We may not be completely ‘back’ but with the fun of Comic Relief, we certainly felt almost normal!
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