Dear Parents and Carers

We’ve speculated before that whilst school-based learning has seen such disruption over the last 15 months, it could perhaps serve to develop resilience in young people. In all our interactions with you and the students, we’ve tried to keep the focus on how to adapt to circumstances, rather than on how much time has been lost, and I genuinely believe it has paid off.

What I see around the school is really impressive: students are focused and engaged in class, they have embraced the post-Covid curriculum we discussed last week, the interventions in Year 10 are very well attended and the attitude of the Year 11s and Year 13s to the assessments they are doing is outstanding (especially bearing in mind we have had two cases of Covid causing disruption to the Year 11s and now have a suspected case in Year 13 too). Despite this, they are getting on with it, not giving up and working with us to adapt; exactly what you would want to see in resilient students.

Our Year 13s are competing against more students than ever for university places due to the number of deferrals last year. When things are not working out as planned, they are keeping calm, seeking advice and finding solutions. For years we have heard about a lack of resilience in young people and how we are raising a ‘snowflake’ generation. I just don’t see it with this cohort of kids. They have had to get used to functioning in a fog with all the previously-assumed pathways through education blurred by lockdowns and changes. It’s not easy to move forward if the destination keeps changing.

Within our community some students have had their pathway more disrupted than others due to personal circumstances, including bereavements, and it is absolutely right that they seek help and support. We have increased the size of our welfare team to do just this and are working with families every day. Please contact your child’s tutor and/or Head of Year if you see your child needs some support.

From what I see with our students, including those who have sought and received some additional help, the key lesson has been learnt: don’t waste emotional energy on things you can’t influence, just concentrate on getting right the things you can influence, namely the effort you put into your studies, your hobbies, sports, arts, and any other activities you do. Setbacks are part of life, but provided our students keep trying their best, regardless of how the world changes around them, they will do well. And from what I am seeing around the place, we should be proud of them for just this reason.

With best wishes

Andy Perry – Head Teacher

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