News

Headmasters Weekly Update for Parents
04/05/2020

Dear Parent,

Welcome to the fifth of my weekly updates.

In the week that sees commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of VE day who better to quote than Churchill, although from 1942 rather than 1945. In November 1942 the war time Prime Minister, after the allied victory at El Alamein, broadcast to the nation that "Now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." And perhaps that is where we are too with the fight against Covid 19 – some return to normal school life is on the horizon but we wait patiently for the government’s road map which will be shared next Sunday. Let’s all hope and pray for a speedy return and a safe one.

Following the school’s various Twitter accounts will give you some insight into the many additional activities and challenges that pupils can join in with. For example, the results of the Easter Cake competition have just been announced and the weekly PE challenge seems to be going from strength to strength. The English department are after photos of reading in unusual situations (‘getting caught reading’) and science club and the virtual art gallery are all doing well, as is the year 7 QUEST challenge. We hope that you are also enjoying and gaining from the Faith at Home bulletin which is shared each Wednesday.

We know of some of the great things that our pupils are involved in through word of mouth but please let me know directly (head@st-christophers.org) of any ‘good news’ stories. Perhaps your son or daughter is doing something special to mark the weekly applause for key workers, or helping a relative or neighbour. Whatever their contribution please get in touch so that others can feel a sense of optimism and gratitude.

As the weeks go by it is difficult for pupils to sustain a sense of still feeling part of their year group. I am grateful to each of the heads of year for keeping in touch with their respective year – offering encouragement and reassurance that all will be well. This is particularly important for pupils in Year 10 and students in the Lower Sixth as they continue to study towards public examinations next year. It is perhaps no surprise that these year groups are likely to be the ones returning to school first, as part of a phased return.

Thank you for letting me know what is going well with online learning and also what we need to do in order to make this even better. We have had one request about accessing the details of homework assignments from the previous week/s. Mr Goddard (our Synergy expert) tells me that the easiest way to do this is to look at the homework tab on the Synergy Student Portal and press View All, rather than just relying on the ‘quick list’ on the Home Page. I hope that this helps.

We are aware of the over 1,300 distinct and different experiences of St Christopher’s home learning across East Lancashire and we acknowledge this range. We want pupils to maintain good work habits and to continue to progress but not at any cost. Health and wellbeing trumps all else and staff will be sympathetic to and understanding of incidents where work has been missed or submitted after a deadline. Likewise, the work completed at home will not contribute decisively to decisions at the end of the school year about pupil groups and setting arrangements.

With my best wishes.

RD Jones
Headmaster