JAMES WILDING - ACADEMIC PRINCIPAL
My brother and I hope this final bulletin of the academic year finds you continuing well and our pupils, your sons and daughters set to enjoy their summer holidays.
My Principal’s blog today highlights the importance we must all place in not wishing the time to hasten by for our children. The central importance of childhood is that it is to be enjoyed, to gather that variety of experiences which builds great memories, and to build enduring relationships across family and friends that in their own way will nourish all in the times to come.
At the start of our #lockdown in March, none of us could have guessed the depth and breadth of the challenge we were going to face. Initial family fears for their children’s education were quickly eased as our remote learning offer across the age range embedded, developed and delivered against our curriculum expectations. What we were able to make clear to every learner was how to engage, how to feel involved, how to respond and how to perceive feedback, all in a caring and supportive environment. I know all of our staff kept their pupils aware that most important of all was their wellbeing and happiness.
We know it’s been a high pressure situation for many households as we all juggle work, home-schooling, health and other issues during lockdown, but schools will return and children will bounce back to their studies. I hope you feel assured that as education professionals, we will provide the best education and wellbeing in the safest way possible.
It was a herculean effort by Justin Spanswick, Dean Richards, Lindsay King and Sheena Wilding, supported so ably by our school nurses led by Cherie Levi, to manage to re-open fully our Junior divisions and Nursery. At Senior level too, exceptional efforts by colleagues ensure that the whole remote learning timetable for secondary and Sixth Form was maintained whilst also welcoming back Year 10, 12 and work experience playwork volunteers onto site later in June.
And looking ahead, it may not be as restful a summer holiday as usual for teachers as they plan and adapt to frequent new guidelines, write new schemes of work to take account of Covid-19 threats and changes in societal expectations, and prepare for full return in autumn. We urge all families to enjoy the summer as they can and support children to be happy and ready for that return to school in September. We will of course be in Year group ‘bubbles’ then, giving us some greater flexibility and agility to enrich school life.
We wish to pay tribute to our own staff at Claires Court, and express our sincerest thanks at the end of a summer term like no other. Without them, we could not have managed the incredible range of activities available, and it is a huge tribute to the immense support, professionalism and dedication to education of our own team. All the time, they have put the children in our school first. They have not just gone the extra mile, gigabyte or screen-time, they have travelled with a love for their calling and a deep concern for those others with whom they work. And thank you too, to so many parents who have recognised this and sent your thanks to so many of our colleagues, as that made such a difference and continues to do so.