We are just two weeks away from the October break, it will be a rest for staff and students that is thoroughly deserved after a successful but tiring return to full time College attendance under the most challenging of circumstances. We have all struggled with the one-way system, staying 2m apart, the rule of six and the other additional rules we’ve had to put in place. It’s been worth it through seeing staff and students able to return to more normal lessons. The vast majority of students have managed this seriously and with good humour. I have only had to discipline a very small number of students for serious breaches of our Covid protocols which has unfortunately included the need to impose exclusions for the more serious breaches. I have really appreciated the support of parents when I’ve needed to take action and this has helped ensure such potentially dangerous behaviour has not been repeated.
Alongside lessons, we have also worked hard to bring back to life the broader opportunities that are so important to our community with extra-curricular sport, art, war hammer and roleplaying clubs already up and running. Students have also been able to take part in house competition such as a photography competition. We are working hard to extend this offer to the performing arts and have plans for a Christmas concert which are well developed. We are determined to ensure that students have as full a College experience as is possible in the circumstances.
Student attendance has remained high throughout the term at 96% for most weeks. We inevitably saw a dip mid term with the usual autumn colds symptoms being similar to Covid-19 causing the need for isolation amongst staff and students until negative tests were received. Our decision for teachers to use SMHW to set classwork alongside prep though ensured student learning didn’t suffer though. Many students have also now experienced lessons being delivered remotely from teachers’ homes which have also ensured high quality teaching has been maintained even when staff have had to isolate.
If your child is absent we recently wrote to parents with an outline of how we will set work and provide feedback when they return this chart cab viewed below.
We have been fortunate so far to have had no positive test results for Covid-19 but with infection rates rising I fear it is only a matter of time before we will need to send some students home as a result. Our plans for this are well advanced with work continuing being set on SMHW complemented by regular lesson delivered using Microsoft Teams. Please ensure that you have access to your emails and xpressions during the day in case we need students to return home in an emergency.
it is also the time of year when parents of year 6 are looking to apply for a College place, a highlight of the year for all of us because it allows everyone to show how proud we are of our community by opening our College for open evening. As with so many events this year, we haven’t been able to allow visitors but instead have created a virtual open evening with short video clips which highlight different aspects of the College, this can be viewed here: http://www.catmosecollege.com/online-prospectus/. I have also prepared my usual address which brought home to me just how fortunate I am to lead such a wonderful community.
I hope you are also able to spend some quality time together as a family, something more important than ever at the moment. To aid that I will be asking staff not to set prep, unless it is critical for examination classes, over the October break.