Well, what a year it’s been!
Between September and July, we’ve had the return to face-to-face education, the reincarnation of remote education and combination of both!
Looking back towards the beginning of the academic year in September 2020, it was fantastic to see our students back in classrooms, learning by having teachers stood at the front of the room, as opposed to being behind a computer screen. I know our teachers loved the return to face-to-face teaching and learning, and both staff and students got back into the groove quickly.
Unfortunately, our joy was short-lived. Rising Covid-19 cases led to the Prime Minister announcing that initially, the start of the Spring term was to be delayed, before a further announcement meant that a return to remote education between January and March was going to happen. Again, our staff and students rose to the challenge, and as we gained more knowledge and understanding of Microsoft Teams, the quality of lessons and the levels of engagement escalated rapidly. It was during these times that we all tried to keep things as normal as possible; rewards assemblies, progress evenings and information sessions were all key staples of the remote education diet.
It was during this time that Ofsted first ‘visited’ in order to ascertain the effectiveness of our remote education offer. Following this day’s virtual inspection, Ofsted inspectors were overwhelmingly positive about our staff, students and parents / carers, and the ways in which everyone had worked together to maximise a challenging situation.
Our very own ‘Freedom Day’ then took place on March 8th, with the return to school of all students. It was around this time that formal Year 11 GCSE examinations were cancelled, with the TAG process being introduced to support students across the country. As students filtered back into school, Graphic Organisers became the centre of attention, so that students could detail their learning and confidence levels regarding their online learning. Teaching staff then moved to close any gaps in learning quickly and calmly.
As we reflect on arguably the toughest year known to education, I think about what we’ve achieved together. At the very best of times, teaching and learning is the sum of numerous moving parts. As a school, our aim throughout this pandemic has always been to thrive, not to simply survive, and teaching and learning has been at the core of this.
It’s a job that, in my opinion, we have done well at RFSS, with teaching staff at the forefront of this success. As a staff body, teachers and support staff have rolled up their sleeves with a ‘can do’ attitude, at a time when our students need them the most. There are plenty of reasons to be proud of them.
Equally, there are so many reasons to be proud of our students. Our young people have been through the toughest of times. Never before, and hopefully never again, have school children had to deal with so many changes, over such a lengthy period of time. Their resilience in this period has inspired us all.
But what now? Well, it’s safe to say that after such an intense year, students need some down-time; staff too. We also look forward to the publication of the report relating to our very recent Ofsted inspection, following our taking of ‘the call’ in the final full week of the Summer term.
The year ahead
What we do know is that we are looking forward to the 2021-22 academic year, and we look forward to welcoming our students, including our new Year 7 and Year 12 cohorts, in September. This is an exciting time to be a part of the RFSS family!
Please find below a link to uniform expectations for the year ahead and a reminder to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for second hand uniform!
Returning in September
I look forward to welcoming students back in September.
All students will be invited for testing on Monday 6th of September. More information about this to follow!
Year 7 and 12 will be returning to school as usual on Tuesday 7th of September
Year 8,9,10 and 11 returning on Wednesday 8th of September
Have a restful and safe break.
Miss Samirah Roberts