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This week, our newsletter is focused on how we begin our preparations for September 2021 and beyond. We have learnt a huge amount as a community in the last fourteen months. Our job now is to work out what we can keep from the changes we have made to school life and what we decide to return to in terms of school routines from before the pandemic.

What is clear to me is that it is our Aspire Values that have helped us get through these most challenging of times as a school community. The values of achievement, aspirations, self-awareness, professionalism, integrity, respect and endeavour have been priceless.

Young people have been forced to sacrifice huge parts of their daily lives to safeguard the safety of others. Millions of them have done this brilliantly without complaint. We should be proud of them and they of themselves. I think now is the time for society to start thinking of how we reward young people for this.

As a school, we have been aware of the pressures our students have been under. We have tried to understand these pressures and give the students support and respite, as much as we can. I think this was fundamentally the right thing to do. Mental and physical health have become topics of concern like never before. While Zoom lessons in lockdown and our continuing catch up programme for those who missed them have been vital, so too has care and regard for our young people.

Now is the time to think more long term and reset our thinking for the future. Building great habits for learning is a long term process. I often mention this, but I don’t apologise for it. In the foyer of our school is the quote ‘Excellence is a habit.’ It’s in every Great Schools Trust entrance.

It is what we do. Every day.

Undoubtedly, as a planet we have focused on safety and surviving. Rightly so. Now is the time for resetting these habits for when we return in June after half-term in readiness for September. Our children need this and I need your support as parents and carers to make sure that this happens for every child. They need and deserve it. Good routines of conduct, attendance, punctuality, uniform and language build the best of habits. They add up to a good life over time. It applies to all of us, adult and child. I am sure we all share the highest of aspirations for our young people.

Let’s give them the very best chance of their achieving them.

Mr Gaul