This is the strangest end of term that I have ever been involved in, normally people are excited for a couple of weeks of and maybe a couple of days away to rest and relax before the final push until the end of the school year. This year though everything is a bit different and school is not closing over the holidays as we look to support parents who are on the front line fighting this virus. A lot has been said about how as a school we are changing the way we work in these extraordinary times so my blog today is going to take a different look and tell you about the positive things that are going on in the background, the shoots of spring growing in the background for when we are all together again.
We have this week donated lots of PPE equipment to the Leicester Royal Infirmary, this included 200 pairs of safety googles and 8 boxes of gloves. We worried that we were just wasting their time but the letter that we got in response shows how grateful they were.
We are trying to keep things as normal as possible for the pupils so in the last two weeks this has involved developing a Hasting YouTube channel and Miss Bradley and myself showcasing our (lack of) ICT skills we a weekly assembly.
They can be found here, I promise that as we learn these will become much more professional and slick! Maybe we will be the next YouTube sensations, Joe wicks watch out!
Home delivery hot chocolate has also been a hit with over 25 certificate and chocolate deliveries in the last two weeks for pupil who are showing commendable effort and responsibility buy getting involved with their online learning, completing work, asking questions and responding to feedback!
Finally to tie in with the green shoots of spring we have been planting trees. Throughout this year we have been working closely with a team at Enstruct, they have been in school every Thursday all year to transform some of our neglected spaces into a community garden. The progress they have made is amazing and we will be hosting a grand opening in September for everyone in the local community to see the work that has been done and also enable the pupils involved to showcase their work. For a something like this though you have to prepare well in advance, you have to make the ground fertile, remove weeds and grow your little seedlings into the fruit and vegetable producing plants that are planned. This takes time, planning and a lot of hard work along the way. This week we were at the tree planting stage and although pupils were not in school a couple of pupils and staff planted nearly 200 trees over the week (and there will be some more next week as well with thanks to the Woodland Trust for supplying the trees!). These tree saplings are showing the first signs of spring, this process is exactly the same in school.
We prepare well for our new year 7 intake who are like the seedlings, young, eager to learn but also scared about their first weeks in a new school and community. We nurture them through the school, teaching them new things and helping them grow into the strong, resilient, community focussed pupils that walk out of the gate at the end of year 11. Throughout this time there are challenges and these times are just another challenge, we will come through it and when we get back together we will be stronger for it. A year ago we would never have considered a situation like this but we planned and have adapted as we get to Easter hopefully across the country and world we will start to see the first shoots of spring as we are seeing at Hastings and by following the guidance we will all be back together soon. We are already planning for the school re-opening and the adaptations that will need to be made going forwards, how will we assess what pupils know? How can we adapt our schemes of work so that no pupil is disadvantaged? We are immensely proud of our pupils for their resilience and taking responsibility at these times, proud of our staff for adapting the way they work and also being so keen to be in work when asked supporting those crucial key workers and we are thankful to all our parents for what they are doing at home.
I wish everyone a restful Easter break, look after yourselves and stay safe, everyday that passes is a day closer to our community being back together.
Mr S Shipman