From the Headmaster:
It is always with mixed emotions that I come to write the final Deerstalker of the academic year.
This one more so, perhaps than many others, due to the extraordinary year we have enjoyed and due to the second group of our 'originals' leaving the school and heading to Year 7.
I shall be saying more about these thirteen young men and women in the final week of term as well as at Prize Giving and Production. Suffice to say that they will be missed.
In this edition, final sports day information, a quick glance back at the Portsmouth trip and some very sad 'see you soon's...'
Do please read the key information for the approaching week and the later collection time on Monday for the school.
Enjoy your weekend and I look forward to seeing you at various points next week.
Sports Day Information
We were so very hopeful that events post 21st June would be possible. The highly anticipated social, sports day, production and prize giving all to be squeezed in to bring the academic year to a successful close.
You will appreciate that navigating and interpreting the regulations has been a constant demand, not least when I and my colleagues are determined to provide all that we can in a safe and compliant way.
We are not permitted to hold outdoor events with more than thirty people in attendance. Even this, however, is determined by the venue and their demands and risk assessment. We can hold the sports day with children but are not permitted by St. Mary’s to allow any more than 30 parents.
I have explored various other tracks and venues who also apply this stipulation or, in most cases, are simply not permitting any spectators whatsoever.
Our Sports Day is a team event with every child competing in every event, earning points for their house. We looked at various scenarios of running individual year group sports days through the course of the day but were concerned that the ‘whole school’ ethos of such an event and competition would be lost; an occasion?
Our Prize Giving has always been a whole school affair, usually taking place just prior to Sports Day. Again, we are limited to no more than 30 people.
Throughout the last fifteen months we have done all we can to place the children at the heart of all we do. Trying to provide them with a sense of normality in a challenging and disrupted time. We also want you to feel as included as possible. As parents we simply want our children to be happy, their mental and physical health to be prioritised.
Sports Day will take place at The Mo Farah Running Track but will now (having received final confirmation) take place on Monday 28th June. All children from Reception to Year 6 will be transported to the track and they will compete with their usual gusto and effort. First and Second Steps Sports Day will take place in school on Monday 28th June, 9.30am - 10.30am. Both events will be broadcast live on zoom and recorded.
Due to the restrictions and risk assessment provided to us by the university, we are only permitted to set up the event at 2pm. I am fearful of causing consequences to you all should we overrun at the venue.
We are well accustomed to juggling the desire to provide as much as we can for the children and daring to wait for confirmation or answers from venues versus not proceeding.
In this particular case, I have been working hard (completing no less than nine risk assessments for St Marys) and numerous control measures that they are satisfied with in order to proceed at the venue.
I will need to ask for your understanding therefore, and request that collection from school, enabling the children to attend and enjoy the athletics will be at 4.00pm. Please take my profuse apologies if this causes you challenge or inconvenience. Please do not hesitate to contact me if this proves to have consequences to any plans.
School Sports Day - 2pm - 3.30pm, return to school for 4pm
For the live stream of the Nursery Sports Day (Monday 9.30am-10.30am please use the following account -
Meeting ID: 359 645 3375
School Sports Day -
Zoom - Meeting ID: 359 645 3375 Passcode: 849052
Prize Giving will take place through zoom on Friday 2nd July at 9am - 9.40am prior to the similarly live streamed end of term production starting at 10.30am -12pm.
Zoom - Meeting ID: 359 645 3375 Passcode: 849052
We are confirming arrangements for the broadcast of the production, please allow us time to confirm the details which will be published in advance.
We have spent some considerable time discussing how to provide our Year 6 children with the very best send off at the end of their time at Park Hill. They have managed 11+ examinations and virtual school exams and visits with great determination. It was with a sense of disappointment that similar restrictions forbade even any production or sports day for our Year 6 leavers last year.
Therefore it simply seems the right thing to do, and I hope it is with our collective support as a school community, that we invite two family members of each of the Year 6 children only to join us in person for the end of term production on Friday 2nd July.
I would have much preferred the events to proceed as we hoped but we must not only abide to the regulations and the venue requirements but also to ensure we ‘simply’ play an important part in ensuring the health and welfare of each child, teacher and you, our families.
I do so hope that you will join us on zoom for these events. I am sorry that we simply cannot have all of you in person with us.
Hopefully the caution over these next few weeks will enable grater freedoms in the summer and more people to avail of the vaccinations.