May 7

Fantastic work is being put together in our Guided Home Learning

I hope you enjoy this edition of Highlife, which quite rightly focusses on the fantastic work the girls and staff together have been producing together through our Guided Home Learning this term. I know you will all, girls and teachers, be missing seeing each other in person, but the creativity and enterprise has simply been flourishing in a very impressive way. 

This week I have been dropping in on Teams sessions from Year 1 all the way up to Year 12 and I have been so impressed. It has really underlined to me, the strength of relationships the girls have with each other, and with the staff, that the humour, kindness and spark is tangible, even virtually. I have also been struck by the quality of work and interaction in the lessons. 

Yes, it can be clunky making sure everyone is logged on and the tech is working properly (how many of us have been merrily contributing virtually to a meeting only to realise our mic was muted?), but the quality of explanation, visual demonstration, dialogue and stretch and support is really excellent. I have seen some fabulous work.

There has been a lot of talk in the press about how will the learning gap be made up for the students who are not accessing the school’s provision, or where provision is more problematic because of home circumstances. We are fortunate. We do face challenges but that is not one of them. Girls are working on a meaningful, relevant curriculum, they are engaging readily and they are receiving regular formative feedback and we are able to assess their progress as we would do normally. For this, our thanks must also go to you, especially for those of you with multiple siblings, younger children and with work pressures at home. Clearly the girls are receiving the support and encouragement they need to take on the provision and opportunities and keep momentum going. Of course we will need to think carefully about re-adjustment when we are all together again, but that we will of course do. I should re-iterate the Headteachers do not have any kind of forewarning of the government’s plans on re-opening schools. We literally hear it on the news at the same time as you do, so I do not have any insight at this point about what the future holds. Needless to say, as soon as I do we will be in touch and we have, of course, been thinking about and planning for all possibilities, alongside running a virtual and key worker school.

This week, our Year 11 and Year 13 girls have been choosing their Excelerate! courses for the next few weeks. We are really proud of the programme we have put together, with the support of fellow GDST schools. Again, it underlines the value of how we can achieve a great deal collectively, which would be near impossible if we were just ploughing our own furrow. For year groups who have felt disempowered by the cancellation of exams, it makes us very happy to provide something exciting and engaging that will really give them a head start for the next stage.

As we head into the bank holiday, please do take break, girls as well, enjoy some downtime together and I am sure I will be in touch again soon.



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