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Reinforcing a sense of belonging is a priority for us all

15th March 2021

I think I have finally decided, rather than skiing in Val d’Isere for the afternoon, I would sail around Ithaca before afternoon tea at Claridge's.

Let me explain … there used to be a regular section in my Saturday paper where celebrities would set out their ideal day and where they would like to be during the day from breakfast through to lunch and onwards until they decided where they would watch the sun set, have dinner and rest their head at the end of their perfect day. How a year can change these expectations. Whilst we are emerging from lockdown, our priorities perhaps have been reversed and we do not mind what we do as long as it is not another Zoom meeting, not another muddy dog walk and not another trip to Little Waitrose! It is also now much more about the opportunity to do something with our dearest friends and shared with our wider family. Time with others now seems much more important than what we might actually do and where we might do it. Time itself has become the valued commodity.

I try to keep up-to-date with what schools are doing by looking at their various daily and weekly tweets. If I had read the Tweets written by schools this week but sent out 18 months ago, I am sure I would have felt that our expectations had been significantly lowered and that we were struggling to find worthwhile things to say. Tweets sent welcoming back Year 4 to school would not have been heralded and celebration that it had been great day would not normally have been considered worth sharing. Similarly, secondary schools would not usually proudly announce to followers that Year 9 pupils had all been tested and that all was well. However, we all know that this past week has been far from familiar and usual. The lengths that schools have gone to in order to make pupils from nursery aged children to young adults in Year 13 feel welcome and safe have been extraordinary. Reinforcing a sense of belonging has been a priority for us all. I am also aware of the lengths that you have all gone to in order to support one another. It is testament to each of you, to our profession and a real reflection of our schools; thank you.

I once heard someone describe schools as ‘buildings with tomorrow inside’; a phrase I have never forgotten. Looking after and nurturing that future is more important than ever. Wherever your role might sit in building that future; thank you for your care, selfless effort and professionalism.

Andrew Road, Director of Education  GEP

Latest Tweets

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  • April 1, 2021 All are aware that distancing and careful management are still required – but, like an Easter egg, we have hope that our measured and staged return to the educational environments we relish can be built piece by piece once more in our schools. Read more Read more
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  • March 30, 2021 Book Day! Fantastic costumes, excellent sketches and very creative house designs inspired by our focus text! Read more
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  • March 30, 2021 finished our mini beast hand puppets this afternoon! Don’t they look brilliant! We have learnt so many new DT skills! Read more