17th July 2020
As the term comes to a close, I'd like to thank all our school community for the amazing way that we have pulled together as a dispersed school. Never in living memory has the school faced such challenges, and it has been humbling to see how staff, pupils and families have risen to the challenge to make the best of the situation. It is a testament to the strength of our community that this really does feel like an end of term, despite the majority of the school being dispersed. One of the ways we mark the end of term is with our annual St Anne's Day celebrations. As has happened so much over the last term and a half, the community has risen to the challenge of marking it despite the restrictions. An amazing video celebrating all we have accomplished was published to our community yesterday and can be found by going here. As it's on our school system, you will need to ask your daughter or son to log in with their account for you. It really is worth 15 minutes at some point in the summer to look back at all we have managed to achieve and what we stand for. There's also some pretty impressive lip-synching by members of staff!
September Opening planning
A reminder that the expectation in September is that schools reopen fully to all pupils. We are delighted that we are going to be able to move back to a gathered school rather than a dispersed school. All the information about how we are reopening can be found on our website under "September Reopening". Thank you to those that have got in touch. All the responses had so far have said that the plans seem reasonable and understandable. Do keep your comments or questions coming and we will take them all on board as we deal with the details. Expect more communication with further updates over the summer as we get closer to September. As a city of school leaders, we have a message to parents across the city about September which can be found attached to this update below.
Teaching Staff Changes
As is inevitable at the end of an academic year, and with 82 members of teaching staff, we have a small number of changes. It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Mrs Gould who has been on secondment to St Peter's Catholic School in Bournemouth. She has been successfully promoted to the permanent position of deputy head there and we wish her all the best as she continues to lead there. As a consequence, I am delighted to announce that Mr Waterfield will be our permanent deputy head from September. I am also delighted to announce that Mr Powell will be our new head of history in September, and pleased that Dr Waller remains with us teaching history while increasing his important work of supporting teaching staff across the region. We also say a sad farewell to Ms O'Sullivan and Miss Minter in the maths department, and Mrs Monahan in social sciences. We also say a final farewell to Mrs Watts, who stepped down from the role of Head of English a number of years ago and has been teaching a few sixth form classes since. We wish them all the best with their future plans. We look forward to welcoming three new members of staff: Miss Khalid has recently joined the maths department, and Mrs Mittell and Mrs Butcher will be joining our English department in September. I know that pupils and staff will make them all feel very welcome.
Thank a member of staff
Is there a particular member of staff you would like to thank for their work this year? Please use this form to pass on your gratitude. We will post responses in our staff room and make sure that the member of staff is aware of your thanks! I would like to take a moment to say a special thanks to the senior leadership team who have been working behind the scenes to keep things going and to get ready for the new academic year.
St Annian's Student Magazine
Despite the restrictions, extra-curricular activities have continued online. I was delighted yesterday to receive an electronic copy of the latest St Annian magazine, the student-lead publication written by students for students. However, it doesn't hurt as parents to see what’s being discussed! It is amazing to think that this is all written, designed and edited by our amazing students. It can be found by clicking here.
Support for families
We have received information from the council on where parents can go for support for a whole range of needs which we wanted to share as we enter the summer break. It is attached (see the end of this email) and has information about support in cases of domestic violence, financial help, parenting support and mental health. I would urge anyone who needs information or support to give these organisations a look.
Message from the NHS
We have been asked to forward this message from the NHS:
Undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes in children requires urgent medical attention.
If your child has ANY of the main symptoms of Type 1 diabetes please make an urgent GP appointment or contact the Out of Hours service. The main symptoms are known as the 4 Ts – Thirst, Toilet, Tiredness, Thinner. If you notice your child is thirsty or using the toilet more frequently, is always feeling tired, or has lost weight recently, seek immediate medical advice.
NHS services are very well equipped to look after children safely if they are unwell. Please do not delay seeking medical advice because of Covid-19.
There is more information available here:
As we draw to an end of the year, I'd like to take a moment to speak to you as a fellow parent and to thank you for the way you have stepped up, however unprepared, and joined our volunteer workforce as a substitute teacher during this time! I don't know how you all feel about how things have gone at home, but I know it's inevitable that we feel that we could have got our children to do more; guilt seems to be a part of the package as a parent! Whatever has been managed by any of us is all we can do and no-one can or should expect more. I thank you for your partnership as we have traversed this uncertain time together.
As we finish, I'd like to share a quote from Julian of Norwich, one of Christianity's most beloved spiritual guides who, despite going through some very difficult times always held on to the truth of God's unconditional love and that there was a divine plan, even if it wasn’t always evident what it was! Her mantra of "All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well" has resonated with me many times over the months, and I share it with you now as we go into our summer holidays. I hope it brings you as much comfort as it has me.
Have a good summer, and God Bless
St Anne's Catholic School