Dear Grey Court Community,
It gives me great pleasure to have welcomed our Y10 and Y12 students back into school for some teaching this week. Attendance was high, as was engagement, and whilst the environment has changed in terms of sanitizer stations and segregated areas, the smiles and the cheeriness were ever present. It was also wonderful to see so many of our teachers and to be able to thank them in person for the tremendous job that they have been doing with our students. Students were urged to maintain their diligence in terms of the completion of online work and to view the sessions in school as a supplement to their studies and not a replacement for their online learning.
Whilst welcoming back some students was joyful, it did seem somewhat unfair for the vast majority who are still unable to return. Mr Jacob, our Assistant Headteacher in charge of Technology, has been busy creating a video which will be used for promotional purposes but also contains some footage that will be used to welcome (virtually) our new Y7s. The video is truly uplifting and encapsulates so many exciting elements that, when brought together, really shows the plethora of opportunities that would normally be afforded to our students. A school without its students is merely a building, but hopefully this video will remind you that the school misses its students and that there is much to look forward to when we can finally, fully reopen our gates.
Our dedicated Heads of Faculty and their teams are busy coming up with ideas to engage, amuse and amaze the students for our virtual Activities Week, taking place from Tuesday 7th to Friday 10th July. KS3 students will have 6 half-day activities from Tuesday to Thursday. Year 10 students will attend their core 'bubble' lessons as usual on Monday and Wednesday but will have 2 days of careers-themed activities on Tuesday and Thursday. All students will then be able to participate in the eagerly anticipated Virtual Sports Day on Friday 10th July. We know it won't be the same as our usual Activities Week, but our staff are determined to make the events as memorable as possible for our young people.
Following last week's student survey on all matters related to our online provision, our Learning and Teaching team has established 5 guiding principles which should further improve the online experience of the students over the next 4 weeks. These principles will be communicated with all teaching staff in our virtual meeting on Tuesday. In summary, they address the need for a greater variety of tasks, becoming more mindful of the amount of content we are expecting students to complete, a more student friendly approach to feedback, the opportunity to upskill by accessing more regular training, and the need for greater interaction during actual lesson time. Hopefully by following these principles, the progress and engagement of our students will be accelerated and advanced during the final 4 weeks of term.
Please do take the time to peruse this week's eBulletin. Mr Clements' wit and humour is a highlight and there is lots of key information concerning the Y12 assessment schedule. There is a section focusing on the work of the school to inform and cultivate greater awareness of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement. There are tips and links that can help with mindfulness, wellbeing, and the reduction of anxiety. In addition, there are tributes to some of the frankly heroic and selfless acts that our students have performed during lockdown which has led to them being awarded Jack Petchey prizes. These uplifting stories are truly inspirational and showcase some of the great feats that have been achieved by members of our community during such testing times.
Ask not what Grey Court can do for you, but what you can do for Grey Court. This is the complete reverse of my normal sentiments but when there is a trophy available, we, as a school, are unashamedly competitive, and we really want to win. The Richmond School Sports Partnership has organised the Richmond Schools Virtual Competition, which is replacing this year's Borough Athletics event. This will take place on the same day Borough Athletics was planned - Wednesday 24th June and the main focus is to get as many people being active as possible. In order to ensure we have the maximum amount of participation by all stakeholders within the community there will be no online lessons after lunch on Wednesday 24th June. To take part, students, parents and staff need to do either a walk, run or cycle on the day. Then log their information on the google form which has been sent home. Further information is contained in the eBulletin. Were we to triumph, this would represent our 5th consecutive Borough Championship. I urge and even implore all members of the Grey Court community to do their duty and keep the trophy in its natural habitat: on our PE corridor.
Finally I would like to wish everybody a happy and healthy weekend. I will be watching my beloved Manchester United and hoping that my fellow mancunian Mr. Marcus Rashford scores the winner, takes a knee, and mimics the eating of a Free School Meal. Take care everybody.
Message from Grey Court Parent Association
As we draw near to the end of this extraordinary school year, we wanted to thank the school and the staff for their efforts during this difficult year. We are extremely proud of Grey Court School and the commitment shown by Mr Rhodes, teaching staff and management team, giving up their holidays to stay open and support key workers. We are disappointed not to have been able to raise the amount of funds for the school and students that we set out to do. An example of this is the school library where works are scheduled to take place over the summer holidays to modernise this important resource. With thanks to all those who have generously donated to date we have raised £25,000 but we are unfortunately about £7000 short, as the predicted cost of the build is £32,000. As such we have set up a GoFundMe account where we hope you will be kind enough to donate towards the £7k gap. Modernising the library will provide a key resource for students in all year groups. We suggest a donation of £15 per family. Click here for the link.