MHS Update 10-12-2021
This time last year was a particularly difficult time in schools. We were contact tracing most days, asking students to self-isolate when identified as contacts, coping with the effect of rapidly rising cases in the community and dealing with the uncertainty of when the end of term would come and when/if schools would re-open after the break.
This year is different. Less challenging in some ways but more so in others. It’s great that the lack of contact tracing means that far fewer students are having to miss school. Our student attendance is on a par with or just above the national rate, and our number of covid cases are remaining steady at the moment without being particularly high. Seeing students in school every day and making the most of their opportunities is heart warming and reminds us what this job is all about.
On the other hand we are experiencing a much higher rate of covid amongst staff members, coupled with more staff absences in general than at any point in the pandemic. We are regularly managing with 10-15% fewer staff per day than usual. I am very aware that this puts pressure on the team and disrupts the experience for students, which is why I am doubly grateful for my colleagues’ continued dedication and for the student’s continued compliance and good nature.
Both were put to the test on Wednesday when torrential and persistent rain meant that virtually all entrances and exits to Bradshaw building were impassable for 90 minutes. The staff worked hard to direct students and clear the way, and students remained calm and sensible despite the terrible conditions. It makes running the school so much easier when we can take these mini crises in our stride. The good news for sports fans is that despite the downpour the new pitches remained playable and water-free at all times. The old astro would have been a lake!
Parents and carers can expect the usual ‘end of term’ letter soon, which contains a reminder about the arrangements for lateral flow testing and the mini staggered start back to school in January.
Until then we carry on!