Head Teacher’s Blog 6th May 2021
Looking ahead to next week, I wish Eid Mubarak to all Muslim members of our community. This will be a focus of the spiritual development time in form next week, as a way to celebrate with Muslim students and staff and as an opportunity for learning for those of us who come from different traditions.
It will also be the feast of the Ascension on Thursday of next week, which again will be part of our focus in school. We hope that some students will be able to join virtually with other students in Catholic schools in Sheffield through a live streamed mass that will be taking place at St Marie’s Cathedral.
I want to say well done and to encourage all of our students who are having assessments to support their GCSE and A Level Grades at the moment. I am so impressed by the way students are getting on with a very different experience from the one they expected for most of their time in school. You are half way through the assessment period, so the end is in sight. Keep going!
India is facing a devastating second wave of coronavirus. The country has confirmed more than 16 million cases and more than 200,000 deaths. The pandemic has put a strain on the medical infrastructure of the country, with hospitals unable to cope with the influx of patients.
CAFOD has launched an urgent appeal to respond to the escalating situation in India. If you are able to donate it would help to express our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in their moment of need.
This is something we will be sharing with students, as I know many members of our community have been concerned about what they have been hearing on the news and will want to know how they might be of help. The link below takes you to information about the appeal, including details about how you can make a donation.
Public Health Update
Please see the attached letter from Greg Fell, director of public health. In it he explains why schools are still working to the same guidance as we have been since September while other restrictions are being lifted. He also highlights that, as things stand, the guidance prevents a number of normal end of term activities from happening in the usual way. We expect updated guidance from the Department for Education soon and I know that the Public Health Team are well aware and supportive of the hope for schools to be able to reintroduce some parts of school life that we have missed, if this can be done in a way that doesn’t jeopardise all the progress that has been made so far.
The community events that we would be prioritising if guidance allows are:
- Providing opportunities for incoming Y7 students to visit the school and meet one another before the summer
- Leavers’ celebrations with Y11 and Y13 to mark an important milestone in their lives
- Sports Day, as a chance for students to come together in a way we haven’t been able to for so long.
We are getting on with contingency planning for all these events so that so that we will be ready should public health guidance allow them to go ahead in some form. However, as the letter from Greg Fell highlights, we can and will only go ahead with things in line with guidance that are safe, sensible, and not likely to undo all that has been done through everyone’s adherence to restrictions for so long.
We saw our first positive test result in some weeks this week. While that is hard for the students that are isolating, it is good that we are seeing so few cases and the way in which students are acting in school and the engagement with things like home testing and, where needed, isolation is really helping.