Today marks the end of term, and it genuinely has been a term like no other. In some respects the announcement from the government late yesterday about arrangements for the start of the new term have illustrated the challenges we have been faced within a school setting. We are anticipating clarifications, as I suspect the situation may well develop further and will then communicate how it will impact our January start. I would like to thank all the boys and their families for rising to the challenge that we have been confronted with to date. The cooperation to ensure the measures we have put in place has been key in helping to reduce risks to our community.
My major thanks however must go to our staff. When we returned in September, although there were detailed plans in place to manage the situation we were facing at that time, it has been the staff on a day to day basis who have made this work as well as it has. Every member of staff has had to make significant alterations to their usual ways of working, this has been achieved with the highest level of professionalism and commitment.
Teaching in the classrooms has had to face a major adjustment, but the staff have adapted and maintained a first rate education for our boys. This has been against a backdrop of the day to day limitations on meetings with colleagues, as well as having to deal with the constraints that have placed limits on what were previously routine actions. Our support staff have similarly needed to make changes, but have been innovative and flexible to provide a sense of continuity for us all. Our pastoral team has been at the heart of our decision making and the fundamental support for our boys and families has been critical. Our attendance figures are impressive to say the least, and compare very favourably to other schools based on the evidence I have. When staff have been forced to self-isolate themselves, colleagues have stepped up and taken on different roles to ensure any disruption to the boys’ experience is minimised. These efforts, have been against a backdrop of staff members dealing with all the challenges outside of school this virus has presented, not least juggling with the needs presented by their own families.
The past few months have made me immensely proud of the team we have here at West Hill and the dedication they have to care for our boys, whatever the demands placed upon them. They have been directed to take a well earned break.
There is still in a long way to go, but as we approach the depth of midwinter, it is important we all take stock and appreciate what has been achieved so far. During the break we need to fortify ourselves and recharge the batteries in order to face what will still be a challenging new year. We should all take a moment to allow ourselves as individuals, to look forward with some optimism that things will eventually get better, but more importantly recognise that by working as a team we can shape the future and ensure things will get better sooner.
This link illustrates how working as a team can deliver wonderful results.
Posted by Mr Owens on 18 December 2020
Category: Headteacher's Log Book