I hope that you and your families remain safe and well.
Firstly, I would like to say what an absolute delight it has been to welcome our students back to school this week. I have stood on the front gate every morning and watched the students as they arrived. As the week has worn on, I have seen their expressions turn from apprehension and worry to happiness and excitement. They have been chatty, positive and co-operative and it has been lovely to hear their laughter and voices resonating through the building. It is so uplifting to see a small nugget of normality returning for them and for us. Although we are still in the grips of a pandemic there is a definite light forming at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel.
This week has been about settling in, adapting to routines, remembering timetables and following expectations. Most of the students have done this seamlessly and effortlessly. We have had an enormously positive week. The students have dealt with the Covid testing with maturity and responsibility, accepting it is a somewhat unpleasant necessity. Similarly, their acceptance of the directive to wear face coverings has been met with minimum fuss. I am astounded by their resilience, their cooperation and their support for one another. Today we started to distribute LFD home testing kits and I am confident that our families will embrace this process with a similar approach. You will have seen from my previous communications that the test results for these need to be recorded with both the school and the NHS. There are further details on our website with regard to this. If you are concerned that you will not be able to facilitate the home testing for any reason then please complete the form below. We will then ensure that the testing in school will continue to be provided for your child.
If you are a parent of a Year 11 or 13 student then you will probably have heard your children talk about the plans for mini-assessments and teacher assessed grades. We have put together a plan for our approach to this, which you can access using this link below.
You will also be aware that we have rescheduled parents’ evenings. There will be further details about our booking system, which will follow in the coming weeks.
Finally, in all of the media coverage concerning the reopening of schools there has been a lot of emphasis on catch up and the loss of learning. There has been talk of extended school days, summer schools and other initiatives that offer the world. I know time has been lost for our students in varying degrees and I know they have all inevitably been impacted by Covid. However, I have lots of confidence that the best way to deal with this talk of catch up is to provide students with high quality teaching, a high quality curriculum and to expect and demand high standards of performance and good behaviour. At Plantsbrook, this is our approach to learning and we will ensure that our students are given every opportunity to thrive, to prosper and to do their very best. We also know that you, as parents, will support us as partners in this approach.
Stay safe, take care and enjoy your weekend.