It hardly seems possible that we are already at the half-way point of this term. In fact, we are now at the half-way point of this academic year. A suitable juncture, therefore, to reflect on how far we have all come in such a short space of time. I have simply lost count of the number of things we’ve had to reinvent about how we ‘do school’ – and yet, here we are having just completed a full half term of teaching entirely via remote learning.
There is much (too much) talk in the media at the moment about the negative impacts of the pandemic on young people’s learning, progress and prospects. Of course, it has been, and it remains, an incredibly challenging time and school being closed will undoubtedly have a significant impact on everyone, to an extent. However, too much talk of ‘lost learning’ and the need for dramatic ‘catch up’ seems to miss a vitally important detail: learning is not confined to the classroom. Young people are continuing to learn a great deal, not just in spite of, but also because of the current situation. They will come out of this unprecedented situation having learnt more about their own resilience, their ability to learn independently, their ability to manage difficult emotions: all of these things can be framed really positively when they are able to look back. They will also be learning a great deal about the importance of their relationships; of their need to make real connections with others; of the meaning of being part of their community. By focusing on these positive aspects, we can counteract the perpetual negativity, which feeds poor mental health. Your child’s (and your own) mental wellbeing is far more important than some supposed gaps in subject knowledge, caused by a crisis out of our own control.
I have faith in our young people. I also have faith in our ability as a school to support students to recognise and frame the positives that can be drawn from their experiences. We can, and will, help students to ‘catch up’. In fact, with their enhanced personal skills, resilience and independence, they will possibly out-do those who have gone before! Generation Covid will be able to flourish!
We are still awaiting confirmation from the government about a number of matters of great importance to students and families. We do not yet have confirmed details on the process of assessment for year 11. We do not yet have confirmed details about the return to school for all students. I know that this leaves everyone with a feeling of great uncertainty. But please be certain of these things: we will communicate swiftly and clearly with you as soon as we can give the clarity that is required and we will do everything in our power to support your child(ren) through whatever comes next.
Thank you to those of you who are taking part in the quiz this evening. As we have been unable to hold our non-uniform day, the student leaders wanted to think of alternative ways to raise money for their house charities, in this case Phyllis Tuckwell hospices. I am very grateful to the team for organising the quiz and sourcing the prizes themselves.
I hope you enjoyed the first instalment of the weekly DOPMaster challenge. It certainly brought some light relief to us in school! The second episode is published today – don’t miss it!
Finally, thank you to the parents and carers of year 9 students who took part in the options events over the past couple of weeks. It was great seeing you all online and we look forward to supporting your sons and daughters as they make their final curriculum choices in their guidance appointments after half term.
Do give yourself a break next week if you are able to. If you are working, at least you will not need to be trying to juggle this with supporting your child with their home learning. We encourage students to spend as much time as possible away from their screens next week, ideally getting some fresh air and a chance to re-energise themselves.
Thank you for the ongoing support.
Chris Vaudin - Headteacher
We have a full calendar of events throughout the year. Click the link below to view them.
Examples Of Student Work
Year 11 drama students were given a task to translate the original text of their chosen monologue into their own words to explore their presentation and delivery. Below are a couple of examples:
Nuclear power is a good way to lessen the amount of co2 emissions and green house gasses which ultimately lead to global warming. I think that although it has its downfalls like the radioactive waste and risk of nuclear accidents we need a source of energy that in foreseeable future will do more good then bad. Realistically most humans will not reduce energy use or do there part to help the planet when it comes to electricity, driving and there phones. Replacing fossil fuels with nuclear power will decrease the green house gas emissions, and produce enough power needed, without the conscious effort to the average person having to make any changes. However, uranium is a finite source and will not last forever, roughly 200 years or maybe less, so that’s why there needs to be some sort of compromise with additions of solar panels and wind turbines etc, which also have there pros and cons but in the greater scheme of things are renewable and are the best option we having for a energy source.
By K. Stratford
Kudos Points Update
Student Leadership Team
How to get away from the screen.
Following on from the last Froghorn article the student leadership team wrote, we want to give you some ideas of how to get away from your screens as we know staring at a screen all day can get tiring. We have tried to come up with ideas that you may like to partake in.
An 8 week challenge that inspires young writers to explore different ways of expressing themselves through their writing. (https://sites.uea.ac.uk/fly/8-week-challenge)
The BBC Young Writers Award with Cambridge University invites all young people aged 14-18 to submit stories of up to 1000 words.
Join thousands of other photographers sharing their passion for photography with great prizes to be won. Get involved with the many competitions.
Food Bank Donations
At school there is a donation box outside reception to make it easier for any parents/carers to make a donation to our local food bank. This will be available from 8:30am-4pm Monday to Friday. Current shortages are: coffee, instant mash, juice, toilet rolls, toothpaste, shampoo, washing up liquid, washing powder/gel, shaving foam, razors, and deodorant.
You can also donate at various venues in the Hart area, which are listed on the link below: