Headteacher’s letter 13 July 2020

Monday 13 July 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

In the past week, there has been a great deal of work ‘behind the scenes’ to put flesh on the bones of our plans to fully reopen the school to all students in September. I expect to write to your children (and therefore you) either towards the end of this week or at the beginning of next week to set out those plans in more detail for each year group.

Saying Farewells
Those families with children with special educational needs are aware that Mrs Evans is leaving us at the end of the academic year. The role of a SENCo is incredibly fulfilling but also complex and hugely demanding. Mrs Evans has been superb in this role and will be greatly missed by us all. Mrs Smart will become our new SENCo, with Mrs Saxby as our Assistant SENCo. Mrs Rachael Stokes (Learning Support Assistant) also departs with our gratitude for her work with our most vulnerable students.

Mr Jarvis, a gentleman your children will know well as our Lead Cover Supervisor, is also leaving us so that he can train to become a teacher of PE. We expect Mr Jarvis to be back with us next year as a trainee teacher and wish him well as he enters the profession after much encouragement from those who have always admired his dedication to and manner with the students!

Mr Bryant, school counsellor, will now retire after many years of dedicated service. Mr Lutman, our volunteer counsellor, will also be leaving us this summer. Both will always be remembered for their great care for our students. In September, we shall review our provision in this area and consider the immediate and longer term needs of our students following this period of school closure.

Mrs Brown (Food Technology) will also be greatly missed by us all and the Design & Technology team in particular. Finally, Mrs Eden, our morning receptionist, will also be leaving CNS this summer for pastures new and we thank her for all her work over many years.

On behalf of the Governing Body and the Leadership Team, I wish to express my deepest thanks to these colleagues, who will be moving on this year. Their dedication and desire to do all they can to support students in our school for many years has been exceptional.

Welcoming New Colleagues
You will be aware from previous communication that Mrs Armistead will join us as Assistant Headteacher from September. She will join the Social Sciences Department (Psychology and Sociology) at a time when Mr McGibbon has decided to stand down as the Head of Department in place of Mrs Gray. With Mrs De Bruyn also joining the Leadership Team, Mr Ward becomes the Acting Head of Sixth Form and this enables us to welcome Mr Dye as the new Head of Philosophy & Ethics, and he will also be leading our Spires and Oxbridge application process for sixth formers.

Furthermore, Mrs George joins our science department so that we may expand that team and reflect the growing popularity of A level sciences in our sixth form.

I am also delighted to share two pieces of related news. Firstly, Mrs Budd (Family Support Worker) will be returning from maternity leave in September. Secondly, Mrs Green (Mrs Budd’s maternity cover) has agreed to stay on with us until the end of December. This will double the practical and emotional support we can offer to families during the transition back to school. I know that there exists great affection for both Mrs Budd and Mrs Green for all of their work with families over a number of years and we are sure that their combined work will be of immense value to many.

Ms Hopkins (Head of Year 9) will shortly begin maternity leave of her own and we all wish her every happiness in the days, weeks and months ahead.

End of Term
On Wednesday, parents and carers of students in years 7 to 9 will receive an end of year report via email / InTouch. Please keep an eye out for this in your inbox.

Meanwhile, sessions for Year 10s and 12s continue throughout this week and into next week as well. GCSE and A level classes in geography will take place next Monday 20 July, finishing with PE on Tuesday 21 July.

The final home learning lesson of the year will be the third lesson on Friday 17 July. It will be the quietest end to a school year ever. However, we hope that the arrangements currently being made by Tutors and Heads of Year to say goodbye to their tutees, from midday, will replicate some of the togetherness that marks the normal end of a school year.

Start of a new term
Yes, let us look ahead to September… As is routine at CNS, Year 7s will return to school on Wednesday 2 September. All other year groups will return on Thursday 3 September. In almost every regard you can expect things to be as they always were and always will be, albeit with some superficial adjustments to how we arrive, move around and depart the school. Whilst I do not wish to gloss over the ways in which all schools will have to adapt in September, it is vital that we remind the students that so much about life at CNS will be much the same.

It is for this reason that I am planning to write a letter to students in each year group that sets out our plans for September. This letter will reach you by the end of this week or early next. It will arrive in your inbox in exactly the same way as this letter has done today. I hope that you will read the letter together and emphasise that next year is going to be great – our best ever.

And finally…
This may be my last letter directly aimed at all parents and carers this term. Assuming it is, I wish to admit being unable to express how humbling it has been to be part of this community at this time. I hope we have all served you well and helped HMS CNS sail calmly through the many icebergs and craggy gorges of the past 112 days. The sun is setting astern and a new dawn awaits ahead.

Yours faithfully
Barry Doherty
Headteacher

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