Dear Parents and Carers
What has happened to the boys in Year 10? They are enormous! I know kids go through growth spurts, but some of them seem about a foot taller than when we last saw them in March. It has been great to see the students coming in over the week. We have enjoyed the human interaction and, after today’s series of appointments with Oken Year 10s or ex-Oken students in Year 12, we will have a very good idea of where the students are in their studies.
From my own point of view, I hope this is the start of getting all our students back in full time. This only becomes possible with no social distancing rules. (Even going down to 1 metre caps classes at 15-18 students.) I certainly do not want to simply drift back to how it was. I believe the education system could do better, but whatever we do, we need all the kids back in as soon as it is safe to do so.
And whilst we will never go backwards on the technology we are using, I welcome the day when I no longer have to take part in Teams meetings online, especially when they are recorded and I have to watch them back – awful. Obviously, being school leaders, we seamlessly moved into this new way of working, as you can see from this screenshot of a leadership meeting from early in lockdown!
And every time I log into one of these meetings, an old bloke who looks alarmingly like my Dad looks back at me from the screen and talks in a voice that, even after all these years, still sounds like it should be holding up a bank somewhere in East London. Thank God the kids are coming back in, the more face-to-face interaction, the better as far as I’m concerned.
We don’t all feel this way. Ms Stevens has really taken to this way of working and has invested in her own webcam to continue. Uniquely among the people I have spoken to, she is happy to listen to her own voice back (Ms Stevens’ is the voice you hear on the phone system at Myton), testament to the fact that although Ms Stevens and I come from the same county of Essex, she grew up in a very different bit of it to me and went to a very, very different school.
The Secretary of State for Education, as part of his precise and well-thought-out strategy, told us on Monday (the day the Government told us to start admitting Years 10 and 12 only), that we could bring in Years 7-9 for a meeting at some point in the term if we wish. We do wish to do this, but it was a bit of a surprise, and we have already designed everything around Years 10, 12 and the key workers. However, we are confident we can arrange some meetings, but please be patient and we will let you know.
Andy Perry – Head TeacherClick here to return to the current newsletter