Of course much of this term was spent at home due to lockdown, learning through the great WHP Distance Learning Programme. In a world where words like “bubble” and “spike” took on a whole new meaning, the children have responded so well during these uncertain times. We are so proud of how they have used their ingenuity, creativity and self-discipline to make the very best of it. The children enjoyed a really comprehensive range of live lessons, rich teaching material, challenges and of course homework through Google Classroom. 3D cities, symmetry, metaphor poems, shadow art, and video animation are just a few examples that got a thorough Distance Learning based investigation. Even the birds were not left in peace as they were filmed drinking and washing in the bird bath!
Of course we were thrilled to welcome the children back starting from 1st June.
Yet more scholarships announced this term, with Emma B awarded the McIsaac Scholarship for Sport and Drama to Ryde, Molly B a Richard Hunter All-Rounder Scholarship to Bryanston, and Matthew C a Gold Sports Scholarship to Embley. So far in the 2019-20 academic year, 17 pupils have won a total of 22 awards. A superb performance.
Early Years spent much of the start of the shortened summer term outdoors. They went on bug hunts, and watched their caterpillars transform into butterflies. They supported World Oceans Day and got a real treat when an ice cream van came for a visit! As always, Forest and Beach Schools were a big feature of the term. In the final week, they had great fun holding their virtual sports day!
The great energy spent promoting and raising funds for good causes has reflected the kindness of our school, and produced great feats of endurance and enjoyable challenges. The Headmaster started off the #RunForHeroes 5K challenge which soon brought in much of the school, while resident staff also did a special lockdown marathon in the grounds. There was a 24 hour sponsored silence for #avoiceforeleanor, deliveries for Acts of Kindness, sponsored bike rides, along with shows of support for all our key workers in so many ways.
Some beautiful musical creations of great breadth and ingenuity made at home, and at school once the children were back. We were even able to make two lockdown music compilations!
Sporting success continued, with the June 100 mile challenge receiving a tremendous response from the three houses. It turned out that the 100 mile goal was smashed very quickly by Beaulieu. Meon, on 1026 miles, pipped Beaulieu on 1007 at the post on the final evening, with Hamble an honourable third at 839. Some great performances from individual pupils too, including some astonishingly high individual totals. Cricket, athletics and all sorts of activities featured in the Distance Learning lessons this year and we were thrilled to receive news of a number of qualifications for the IAPS swimming finals. We were very sad of course that they will not be held this year. We were also proud that three pupils have been selected for the next step on the England Hockey Player Pathway and they will be trialling at the England Hockey Performance Centre this Autumn, social distancing allowing. It was wonderful to be back at school so we could have our sports day, and two WHP records were broken in Years 5 + 6.
Whole school special events really added to the distance learning experience, and the 75th anniversary of VE Day was celebrated in style with great effort put into commemorative creations. There were touching tributes from the pupils on “Thank a Teacher” day, while Mental Health Week had particular significance during the current pandemic and social distancing restrictions. Fancy Dress Friday was much fun and it was with great relief that the children began to return to school with WHP quickly becoming a hive of laughter and activity again.
Lockdown wasn’t able to stop Leaver’s Experience this year. The imagination and energy they put into a huge variety of activities was incredible! Best presented dish, selfie orienteering, random acts of kindness, origami challenge, most miles challenge, puzzles, problem solving, set design, and even learning to become a casting director to mention just a few!
It was with great sadness we waved goodbye to the wonderful class of 2020 who departed in style with a wonderful procession down the main drive. A real day to be remembered and they will be sorely missed.