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Headteacher’s Letter 19 October 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

End of Term Fundraising

Our term ends on Wednesday and therefore we shall be running a non-uniform day. The day will be in support of one of the four local charities that we support at CNS.

THRIVE has done tremendous work before and during the pandemic that is truly inspirational and heart-warming.

We invite our students and staff to dress down for the day and contribute £1 to £2 each to this charity.

If your son or daughter has dance or PE on Wednesday then they have been reminded that the normal lessons and inter-house competitions will be running. Therefore, they will need to wear suitable sports clothing and be ready to participate as normal, including a light waterproof jacket if it is raining. If you have any questions please email Mr Thomas, Head of PE on [email protected]

What have we learned in the past eight weeks?

We all embarked on this term with so much courage and a determination to get back to normal. It has been so obvious to us that it has been the students who have brought that normality to our school. They have been the quickest to adapt and have amazed us with their ability to just ‘crack on’ and put the closure of their school behind them without much fuss at all. Phrases like, “Don’t forget to sanitise your hands’’, or, ‘‘Don’t forget to pop on your face covering’’ are no longer odd to say or hear.

You will be aware that we have had to ask year 9 and then year 13 students to self-isolate on two occasions. A total of less than forty students overall, most for less than a week. I am not sure what I expected but on reflection, this figure feels low and I know we have suffered more lightly than other schools who have been more unlucky. That said, we know we shall probably have to face the same situation again at some point. Nevertheless, our own internal track and trace procedures work well and so we are confident we can contact you quickly if or when it happens again.

In each case, the response of the students and the families has been exceptional. Yes, frustrated, but never difficult and always with a sense of genuine collaboration and understanding. Thank you.

Personal reflections

I have loved taking my year 9 history class though their first topic on the Titanic tragedy and we are now halfway through our section on the civil rights movement. It is just great to be back in classrooms (although in the odd surroundings of heavy machinery with my class in the Tech zone) and doing what we are meant to be doing. My absentees have used Show My Homework really well to keep up and I have just been struck by how they are so eager to learn and progress. Sometimes with Skittles as bribes. I am not afraid of resorting to the cheapest tricks!

Last Wednesday I had prepared for my whole school assembly. I wanted to draw attention to Black History Month by creating a highly visual assembly that illustrated the connections between all animals and all humans by way of a central message: we are all family.

My plan was great: The PowerPoint was ideal and I was all set to broadcast live on Google Meets. I delivered it with tremendous gusto and then discovered I did so without sharing my screen and therefore not a single student saw my all-important PowerPoint…

As frustrated and slightly embarrassed as I felt, it was important to model a mistake and shrug off the gentle teasing I got from colleagues and students alike. As one of the tiniest year 7s said to me that afternoon, “Loved your assembly sir. Just a pity we could not see a single thing. Night!”

And so, in the spirt of correcting my error, I have attached that PowerPoint because it captures so much of what I and we believe: We are one family and need to act as one at all times. Especially now.

Have a great half term. We shall see them all back bright and early on Monday 2 November.

Yours faithfully

Mr Doherty

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