My first thought this week has been how wonderful it is to be back! The best part about teaching is working with people, and to see the students back on site, many new to Felsted, has brought the place back to life. I am very grateful to the team who helped to allow many of our international students to return early, to prepare for the new school term, and for those who looked after the LEAP students as well. We were also pleased with the approach to the progress checks that were undertaken by Year 11 and Upper 6th students, and hopefully set them up well for the start of this important year.
We are continuing to monitor all the guidance closely, and will continue to put safety as our first priority in seeking to return more closely to normal school life. We see this very much as a team effort, with the students taking on responsibilities, alongside the teachers, and the operational teams are working extremely hard to keep things moving. For example, in order to get all year groups through lunch, the catering team cleans all surfaces four times in just over an hour, for four different sittings. We would also ask that parents help as well, by following the government guidance outside school. Social gatherings do need to be kept to a minimum, and while I know that this might seem frustrating when all the pupils are 'together' at school, it is important for reducing risk of transmission.
Please do follow us on social media. We try to keep a varied programme of news and updates, and there are also house and department sites. Parental (and pupil) interaction with these posts is always good to see!
Finally, the focus in my assemblies this week has been about the Value of Kindness, as illustrated by one of my favourite video stories (see below), and how an act of kindness can change someone else's day, or even their life.
I told Year 9 how I still remember an act of kindness shown to me on my first day of primary school, at the age of 6, and I am still friends with the person who showed that kindness to me, almost 20 years ago - well perhaps a bit more than that. Second, that we want a culture where people understand the values that matter to them, and therefore not people who stand by, but stand up for what they know to be right. A culture that begins with self respect, but extends to be respectful to all others. Success this term will be achieved by finding and taking opportunities, working hard, and showing this kindness. I have no doubt that the children are ready for the challenge.