Message From CEO – 22 March 2020
In response to the last few weeks swirling uncertainty we’ve seen teachers, Headteachers and other staff setting a tone of calm leadership and sound judgement. The quality of school leadership in each of our Trust schools has been so deeply impressive and so uplifting.
You have sensed the enormous weight of expectation placed upon schools. You have been asked by the Government to carry out essential duties that will support our country, families and children. Leadership of schools has rarely been more needed and appreciated, and you have all responded magnificently in these unprecedented times.
The decision to keep schools open for key workers and vulnerable children, and the list published on Friday, has presented us with a number of challenges.
Each of our schools has responded proactively to these challenges. You have noted the national guidance but you have also looked at your school context. You have weighed up the number of staff you may have on Monday, against the proportion of children deemed vulnerable, and then begun to unpick and make sense of the implications of the key worker list. You have all made difficult decisions on behalf of your school, your staff and your community.
Staff, families and pupils are all understandably worried and anxious. Your leadership has been hugely skilled in calming and supporting and finding practical and pragmatic strategies to protect and serve all involved.
I am hugely proud of your collective response – Headteachers, leaders, teachers and governors for the way in which you have all led with calm, measured judgment and with our core values at the heart of your decision making. Thank you.
It has of course been disappointing for children to see fun events and trips out cancelled across our schools this week. However enjoyment of learning has continued. Here are some wonderful picture of this week’s events at Kingshill.
St Michael’s Church School have been following the motto ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ by putting up a new display and sorting new reading books for the classrooms.
Batheaston Church School have been continuing to explore greater than and less than in their maths classes – fabulous independent maths in action.
They also raised a train track at construction club showing great teamwork and problem solving.
Early Algorithms were happening in Apple class and they used the book ‘Rosie’s Walk’ to sequence steps in the story.
A great reaction from the children at St Stephen’s Church School when they unveiled their new drum kit this week. Donation of the kit was arranged by Rich Cooper and very kindly donated (and shipped) by Chris ‘Woody’ Wood of London based band Bastille. They were all amazed that their favourite band had donated such a wonderful gift.
Next week will bring new challenges for us all. Rostering of staff to protect everyone’s well-being and meeting the needs of the reduced number of pupils in school, providing lunches with reduced staff for those requiring them, establishing routines and expectations for social distancing, communicating with parents and children not in school, preparing online and home learning resources to name but a few.
Through all of this you and your well-being are so important. By supporting each other, focusing on protecting our wellbeing and morale and working together with our collective skills, knowledge and resource, we can emerge still stronger and proud of all that we have and continue to do, to protect each other, our pupils and the communities we serve. Our Central support team are working closely with Regional Directors and Headteachers to ensure that all schools receive additional support, resource and guidance where this is needed.
I would like to thank every one of you for your generosity in sharing your work, expertise and thinking, to provide the best possible support across our Trust; displaying the very best of collaborative working, the highest standard of leadership and care, and for supporting each other including those who, for a range of reasons, are not able to be in school.
I hope that every one of you and your family are, and stay, safe and well.
Thank you to everyone, for all that you have and continue to do to support children across our Trust.