What a year 2020 has been. Looking back to this time last year we were excited to finish for the Christmas holiday and spend time away from school with family and loved ones. I remember there being murmurings about some virus but there was little to know and it all seemed too far away for it to be a problem for any of us. How wrong I was.
2020 has brought many challenges to us all but it has also brought perspective and a great deal of camaraderie. As a school we have remained open throughout. We have provided food and support for families that have struggled, through no fault of their own, and we have worked hard to look after our students and keep them engaged in learning as best we could. We have not been perfect but I know we tried our very best to do things right. I am proud of our school community for all they have achieved during lockdown.
For the past four months I have had the privilege to lead this school in the most uncertain of times. I say that because Beckfoot, without its staff and students, is just a building. Nothing more. It comes alive every day when our young people arrive and it transforms into the Beckfoot we love; a place full of life and that special ’Buzz’. I have been working here for 18 years, on and off, but this term has demonstrated to me, more than any other, why Beckfoot is so incredibly special. My staff are central to that and they come here everyday to make a difference. Covid 19 did not change that.
Since returning in September I feel we have done most things really well and, thankfully, you seem to agree. Our Risk Assessment has proved to be very strong and our attendance is comparable to any other year because you have trusted us. For that I am so grateful. We have had over 30 confirmed cases over the past 15 weeks and been required, on each occasion, to identify close and social contacts to send home. In almost all cases we have had the most incredible support from parents and carers which I am thankful for. Indeed, when I talk to other Headteachers it is clear we have done very well to operate as we have been doing and also to have such limited staff and student absence.
We have lots on this week but it is also very much business as usual. We want students to continue to learn as time is precious to them and us. We also want reward them for all they have achieved and things are happening all week culminating on Friday with the Virtual Staff Panto to be shown during period 5. At the time of writing I am concerned that the staff are taking things too seriously. I have heard them singing and acting and they really need to enjoy the process a little more because I know that their vocations lie in teaching and not in show business, so it should be entertaining at the very least!
Finally, I want to thank you all for your incredible support throughout this term. I want to wish you a very Happy Christmas and I sincerely hope that 2021 is a good year for you whatever it may bring.