21st March 2021
Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the day of when we shut our doors. I wrote at that time that "when we will open our doors again for a normal school day is at the moment unknown. (We) will continue to support students and their families over the weeks and months ahead." It has been a year full of challenge but over this last week our site has been as busy as ever!
Our formal programme of Lateral Flow Tests finished last Saturday. We had half of the school in over that weekend and we have now cleared the sports hall and returned it to our PE department. We started our celebration of Neurodiversity Week on Monday. We presented a set of assemblies and the response from parents has been great. On Monday we also presented our approach to summer grading to year eleven and year thirteen students and in the evening ran two more sessions – one to help parents get their heads around home testing and also a session on grading for a parent audience. We have year eleven parents' evening on Thursday 25th March and sixth form parents' evening on Thursday 1st April to provide further information.
On Tuesday we received more phone calls for the vacancies we have in our administration team. We have a number of colleagues retiring and it is always a challenge finding new colleagues to fill their shoes. I have been really pleased with the responses to our adverts and how much Chilwell is a place where people want to come and work.
On Thursday, I was pleased to chair the key note speech by Ian Bauckham, interim head of Ofqual, at the ASCL Conference. It is important that schools are clear with parents and students and I was keen to ensure that the messages and information that come from the organisations that oversee the qualifications are also clear and simple for everyone to understand.
Friday was a complete contrast, with Red Nose Day. Thank you for all the contributions made to charity. Thank you also to staff who dressed up and created some smiles for students behind their masks.
As time moves on, more and more people have been in a position to get their Covid vaccinations and it was my turn on Saturday. Whilst this roll out means that we can continue to see a way forwards and towards on-site teaching that has greater flexibility, at present we intend to be sticking firmly to the arrangements that we have in place for everyone's safety.
In practical terms we will be looking for our procedures to remain in place for the rest of this academic year whilst planning with care for the new year in September.