It has been a very positive return to school, and it is great to see almost the whole community coming back together. Of course, the weather helps, and the school always looks and feels that bit better when the sun is shining.
More than that, though, there is a feeling of positivity that we are now in a much better place than we were earlier in the year, and that real progress has been made with vaccinations, case numbers and risk reduction. Of course, we must not be complacent at this point, and the continued testing, use of face coverings, ventilation, hand washing, social distancing, and caution when away from school all remain crucial in the coming weeks.
For the Upper 6th and Year 11, the assessments have got underway towards their final grades. We are confident that we have got a good balance between rigorous assessment and fairness, while still giving every student the best chance to show what they can do; and that we have also got enough flexibility to be able to manage the needs of anyone who has been impacted significantly in recent weeks.
Another aspect that we have been starting to look at is the return to school trips, and are looking at a three stage plan, to look at national travel, short haul trips, and finally a return to long haul trips. Of course, we will not have all the answers at this stage, and there will be a degree of uncertainty, but we want you to be aware of our thinking, so that we can all start to plan ahead to next year, and beyond. We are looking forward to a return to school fixtures after the exeat, and were very pleased that the boys' cricket fixture with the MCC was able to go ahead on Thursday 22 April. We did live stream the fixture, and will be looking to do that with more fixtures in the coming weeks, until we can allow spectators to return to the site. As with sports, we are also working on the details for Drama performance, and Music concerts, and very much look forward to the opportunities that will be available in the next couple of months.
Speaking of Drama, we have had some more outstanding LAMDA results from the end of last term. Huge congratulations to all those who took part in those exams, and to our wonderful teachers who helped everyone to do so well, especially in such an unusual time.
Finally, our Marketing team has been working hard on a couple of new initiatives in the last few weeks. One of these is our FelsTED Talks podcast series, which launched with the interview that I did with Eddie Hearn this week. Many thanks to Eddie for bringing his podcasting experience to guide me through, and also for his really important life lessons, and an update about Joshua v Fury for the boxing fans. Please do look out for this on Spotify and Apple podcasts, and sign up to follow all of our podcasts - we will be releasing a new one each week and have a great and varied set of guests taking part.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make the start of term such a good one.