Headteacher’s Update – April 10th 2020
Although it’s officially the ‘Easter Holiday’ the pace of work has changed little from the previous couple of weeks. The school remains open to the children of key workers and those with EHCPs. Staff work a rota that sees a team of about 10-12 of us in every day. Even when there are only a few students, the building needs to be opened, maintained and cleaned. Children need to be supervised, bills need to be paid, meals need to be cooked and we need to be available from 8:30am – 3pm.
At home staff are working hard to keep abreast of things that will ensure children don’t miss out during the school closure and that when we return we can slip straight into gear and get back on track swiftly. This means reviewing our teaching resources so that they work as well at home as they do in school, adapting our schemes of work so that they take account of any potential gaps in learning resulting from the closure period, and ensuring we keep in touch with students so that the positive relationships we have nurtured are not compromised by the length of time that we are out of school.
The school is trying to do as much as we can to support the NHS. On Tuesday I dropped the remaining Personal Protection Equipment that we have in school at the local authority collection point in Hove Town Hall. This included, protective glasses, visors and gloves; all of which are needed if hospital staff are going to stay staff. Our Head of Design Technology, working in collaboration with Cardinal Newman Catholic School, produced 40 safety visors for frontline staff using a template, material we had in stock and a laser cutter. I’ve sent a Tweet out so you can see what the visors look like; this is only the first batch; further production will start again after Easter.
We have been keeping a regular and careful eye on the news and there is still no indication as to when schools might reopen. We have to be prepared for every eventuality. The next couple of months is the main recruitment window of the year. The school continues to expand with pupil numbers in September set to be 225 in all cohorts other than Year 11, so we need to recruit additional staff. At the moment we are advertising for a new Science teacher and we also intend making some internal appointments that come with additional responsibilities. On Wednesday we took the unusual step of interviewing candidates for an English Teacher post via Zoom. It worked brilliantly and I’m pleased to say we made a fantastic appointment … the English Department will continue to go from strength to strength.
Thank you very much for all the emails that you have sent letting us know how much you and your families are enjoying the morning exercise classes and the daily quiz. I hope you had more success with the Geography round than we need at our house!
And big thank you to all students who have shared some of the amazing work that they are doing at home. I never cease to be amazed by the work ethic, talent and creativity of our kids … superb!
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns. We can be reached via email, and phone calls to the school between 8:30am and 3pm during the Holiday (including Bank Holiday Monday) will be answered by our duty receptionist.