Farewell to a fabulous group of students
A bitter-sweet day on Tuesday this week as we said goodbye to another year group. Like last year’s cohort, our outgoing year 11s have been denied some of the rights of passage that mark the teenage years – the stress of the exams, the study leave, the prom. These events are important and sadly another group of students will go without. However, unlike last year we were able to lay on a few things to mark the occasion of the class of 2021 finishing high school. On the Friday afternoon before half term the ‘bubble’ that is the Year 11 cohort were able to spend some time in the canteen, saying goodbye and posing for an impromptu photo of roughly 280 students in one go.
On Tuesday this week pretty much the whole cohort came back into school for the morning for a slightly altered version of our leavers morning. None but the essential staff were there to greet them (although they did manage to say goodbye via video), the celebration assembly was barely half as long as usual and the year 11s were kept apart from everyone else in school. Bubbled in their year group they got to have an hour of normality in what has been the most abnormal year – and then after 15 minutes of throwing foam into each other’s eyes they left MHS as a group for the very last time…until results day that is! Of course I’m sorry that we were not able to book a prom, but given the pause in lockdown lifting I have to say I think it was the right decision. Although not the same I hope that the two events we did manage to put on have at least part filled the gap.
I’ll miss the class of 2021. All the way through their time at the school they were a hard-working, enthusiastic, respectful and fun group of students. I’ll remember them for their sense of purpose, their sense of right and wrong, and their incredible hard work through the endless cycle of assessments that formed the ‘Teacher Assessed Grades’ process. I was lucky enough to teach one class of them this year and couldn’t have been more impressed with their attitude and work ethic. It’s often said that ‘kids are resilient’ – well, if that means keeping your head up when the last 15 months of your secondary school education has been decimated by a worldwide pandemic, and then having to prove what you can do in every subject, every day, for weeks (or months), then I’d say our class of 2021 are well and truly resilient.
As I said in my message to the class of 2021 on Tuesday – You have left our school a stronger, happier and more capable place than you found it. Thank you.
Covid notice – repeated from last week
Although we haven’t had a case in school for over a week, a reminder that cases are rising and a number of students are isolating due to being contacts of people outside the MHS community. I therefore repeat my ‘what to do if’ message here:
How families and students can keep infections down to a minimum
I cannot stress how important it is that families and students stick to the following rules. It is the only way we can keep people safe and keep disruption to a minimum, especially where the need for contact tracing is avoidable.
1) If a student has any of the three main symptoms (New cough, fever or loss of sense of taste or smell): Inform school on email@example.com immediately, keep the child off school and book a PCR test. Report the result to school on firstname.lastname@example.org and only send the child back to school if the test is negative
2) If anyone in the household has a positive coronavirus test or is waiting for a test result having had symptoms: The household should isolate and students should not come to school. Where a household positive result is received then inform school on email@example.com
3) If a student has a positive PCR result: Inform school on firstname.lastname@example.org immediately, and only send the child back to school when the isolation period is over. Having a follow up negative test of any kind does not cut the period of isolation short.
4) If a student has a positive LFT: Inform school on email@example.com immediately, keep the child off school and book a PCR test. Report the result to school on firstname.lastname@example.org and only send the child back to school if the test is negative. If it is positive, then having a follow up negative test of any kind does not cut the period of isolation short.
5) Students should continue to do LFTs twice a week. These are ONLY for people with no symptoms, if a child has symptoms then see point 1 above. If a child has a positive LFT then see point 4 above
6) If at any point a parent/carer is not sure what to do, please keep the child off school and contact us on email@example.com. This email address is monitored constantly and we will get back to you asap.
I appreciate that the situation is complicated and so I am happy to keep repeating the above advice. The fact is that every Covid case in school disrupts children’s education, puts staff at risk and puts everyone’s families at risk too. Of the 31 cases we have had between September 2020 and now, more than a handful would have had no impact on school life had the 6 steps above been followed. I therefore urge everyone to be familiar with the guidance and above all ask us for advice if you’re not sure.