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Coronavirus Update Eight

As we break for the Easter holiday, I should like to take this opportunity to thank you for your exceptional support, to wish you all good health and to assure you that we, at RGS, are with you every step of the way.

Dear Parent

As we break for the Easter holiday, I should like to take this opportunity to thank you for your exceptional support, to wish you all good health and to assure you that we, at RGS, are with you every step of the way. The many emails we have received have been much appreciated by us all whether expressions of thanks or very constructive feedback. 

I remain immensely proud of the RGS community for the way in which we have had almost a fortnight of #LearnAtHome.  We have all learned a great deal, whether a senior leader coming to terms with leading their area from home, the teacher grappling with new technology (often with their children at home too), amending lessons they would ordinarily teach at school and, of course, parents who are juggling home working, managing their children’s participation and in some cases worrying about financial security.

VALE

We are sorry to say ‘farewell’ to Frazer Hammons, Teacher History and Politics, who is relocating to Essex.  I am very pleased that Frazer has secured a very well-deserved promotion to the post of Subject Leader for History. We all wish him every success in his new role and every happiness in the future.

HATS OFF

Many of you will have joined in the 8 o’clock “Clap for the NHS” – certainly, Great Kingshill, where we live, (a normally fairly sleepy place at 8pm) was alive with applause and cheers. We, as a School, were happy to support the NHS by donating resources to Wycombe Hospital and we have offered accommodation in our boarding house for key workers who need it.

I always ask the boys to give the staff a clap in my final assembly of the term. Not possible this time round, of course, but I know that staff have much appreciated the positive feedback they have received from individual boys.

HAVE A BREAK

I am prescribing RGS staff a complete break, which they richly deserve.  The Senior Team will be on hand to offer key worker/vulnerable children provision throughout the holiday, by appointment. Whilst this has been sparsely attended, we believe it is the right thing to do in staying open, as the Government has requested.

LET YOUR MODERATION BE KNOWN UNTO ALL

Boys deserve a break.   Down time (exercise, tv, reading, Xbox) all in moderation of course is essential. Friends are also important. I cannot however stress strongly enough the importance of Year 11-13 to keep on top of their work, given they may wish or need to sit an exam in the autumn to boost their awarded grade.  I will be asking boys not, however, to send work into staff over the Easter break. At the time of writing, we have just received the Ofqual guidance.  We shall digest this over the Easter break.  Please be assured that the School will guide you through this process.

THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS

We have no idea when we’ll be back – I’d put my money on September.  Whilst this gives an opportunity for school leadership teams to ‘cleanse the Augean stables’, to reflect on what matters, to throw out what does not and to build a smarter organisation, the opportunities for some boys are less optimistic.  I am genuinely very concerned about the ‘equality gap’ created between boys who have participated and boys who have not. I’m glad to report that the vast majority of boys have embraced #LearnAtHome very well.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

We have a plan for next term, constructed by my senior team with input from Subject Leaders, Heads of Year and the feedback from boys and parents. There will be a letter from Mr Wallace about this when we return.

School leaders need to balance the ‘carpe diem’ of the movers and shakers with those who are more in tune with the Medes and the Persians and prefer what they know. That said, there is the need for a ‘why?’ factor to this: the ‘why’ being delivering #LearnAtHome not only to teach content but also to get us all up to speed with a true 21st Century working and learning experience.

May I renew my good wishes to you all.  If you celebrate the festival of Easter, I wish you a happy one.  Easter serves as a welcome spring holiday, which I hope that you will find restorative as well as an opportunity to spend family time together.

Most important of all, please do keep well and safe.

 Yours sincerely
Philip Wayne
Headmaster