Welcome back to the second half of the Trinity Term. I hope you had a restful and enjoyable holiday and are ready to give everything you have to this last half of term and the last 5 weeks of the school year. This is traditionally a term absolutely packed with all number of events and opportunity and, although much of what we would usually have the privilege of experiencing has either changed or been lost due to Covid-19, let us just take a step back and look at it through the wider societal lens.
So much of what we experience at St Michael’s, and in our community, is an absolute privilege. The sad news of the murder of George Floyd in America has rightly shone a spotlight on issues of inequality and privilege. Issues that so many of us take for granted. It is a difficult subject to approach from my privileged position but, I strongly believe in love, kindness and community, and only by all of us standing up for what is right in the world can we set the example for our own children and the children in our care here at St Michael’s.
We strongly feel for those children still at home whilst some are at school. We recognise how hard it is to see siblings returning home happy and tired from a day spent with friends and teachers finding joy in learning. We have, however, taken huge steps forward in a return to what we know. We are proud of the successful return of Nursery, Kindergarten, Reception, Years 1 and 6. We are also proud of our Year 8 pupils who completed their CE English and maths exams this week and who will be leaving their legacy in new ways to any that have come before. It was lovely to see the Year 8’s in a Zoom call yesterday and to make plans for their contributions to our famous stairwell timeline. The excitement of planning where they will leave their name inscribed on the wall is possibly even more palpable after the time learning away.
I would like to offer a huge thanks to all staff that were involved in the mammoth task of getting the school and the community ready for Monday 1st June. Those of you that have been on site will appreciate that there are many parts to the puzzle that have needed slotting together and it was another superb team effort. We are already excited about the things that we have introduced that we’d like to keep. The Year 6 rolling pick up is a particular hit and I thank Fraser Wiseman and Ian Smith and his team for their thinking and work to make this, and much of site preparation and planning happen. Jamie Booth has done a sterling job in leading our risk assessing which continues to be reviewed daily. Congratulations also to the dedicated Pre-Prep Team in planning for a huge number of children to return in one go. It was a pleasure to pay a visit yesterday and to be greeted by many smiling faces who have only seen me in Zoom for the last few months!
So, from the many events that have stolen the headlines this year and in particular reference to the recent events in America, the way forward for us, and society, will undoubtedly be trying. There will be tough conversations, mistakes made and lots of learning. But by being open, honest, kind and courageous we will find a way to be better. As the fantastic St Michael’s, British and world community that we are. At the heart of everything we all do is love. And hopefully that will win in the end.