Well, what a very strange academic year 2019-2020 was. We had such a positive start for the first term and we were all looking forward to a Spring and Summer of exciting learning and continued excellent preparation for the exam season and welcoming our Year 6, soon to be Year 7, students when we were told to partially close. I never imagined that we wouldn’t be returning until September and I sincerely hope that our children never have to go through such a prolonged disruption to their education such as this ever again.
The exam results fiasco created additional stress for hundreds of thousands of young people across the country and the uncertainty about the 2021 exam season continues to play on the minds of the students due to sit exams next year. We have a lot of work to do this year supporting them to not only complete their courses but to also feel confident that they will not be disadvantaged whatever happens next summer.
Creating a suitably challenging and appropriate curriculum to meet the ever-changing needs of our young people to be taught in school is a full time task in itself, to have to now adapt that to take into consideration the months of lost learning will make it all the more tricky. Add to that the Government’s instruction at the end of the summer term for us to prepare an equally impressive online curriculum, to include resources to the many students who don’t have access to technology at home, and you can start to see how much still needs to be done.
Our overarching priority has been to get all of our students back into school safely and to be able to run the school day in as normal a format as possible. Where some schools have reduced the curriculum and option choices this year in order to focus heavily on the core subjects, we have made the decision that what is best for Ernesford students is to get them back into school with a broad and balanced curriculum delivered in the safest way possible. We will be developing our use of online learning strategies at the same time but, as I am sure you will agree, the best place for students to learn is at school.
So, as we head into a new term of uncertainty, I want to give parents and our students the certainty that we will be doing everything in our powers to provide you with the highest quality teaching and learning experience with the same high quality pastoral support that has been in place for many years.
All of our staff are unbelievably excited to have students back in the school building and to be able to do the job they love, which is teaching students, in the classroom, back where we all belong.