1 May 2020 Update

Dear all


It just has to be said. So I will. Together, as a community, we’re amazing!


As we welcome in the first day of May and look back over the first full month of ‘learning lockdown’ we have:


  • Worked together to deliver, experience and support online lessons, from what was effectively a standing start - however challenging I know it’s felt for everyone from time to time: students, thank you for the positivity of your response; parents and carers I salute you for everything that you have done, whilst yourself in so many cases endeavouring to ‘work from home’, to encourage your young people to continue to learn with a sense of purpose and yet also balance and perspective. Lest we forget that learning inside, or outside of school, should ultimately be enjoyable!
  • Reassured, supported and encouraged and even - dare I say it inspired each other by the resilience of our response
  • Provided a source of continuity and stability in I know, what for all of us at different times, has seemed like a sea of uncertainty


I am so proud and privileged to be a part of this remarkable community. Thank you. And thank you in particular for ‘sticking with it’ over the last couple of days when, as the weather has worsened, so too could morale. I get it, we all get it and we’ll get through it.


So it’s in this context that our collective and positive energy and optimism is so important. Cue this week’s blog....




It’s also in this context, and thank you to Mr Columbro for the initial inspiration in our virtual Heads of Learning Meeting earlier this week, that we should now start thinking about our community’s ‘Personal Bests’ during this period. Normally, at this time of the year, we begin our planning for ‘Personal Best’ magazine. So why do anything different now!?


Personal Best – the even better news edition!


We need your good news stories for what will be a slightly different Personal Best this year.


You will have already seen how Mrs Hayes and colleagues have been making PPE for NHS staff, but what have you as parents, carers, students or whole families done that has gone above and beyond?


Maybe you’ve shopped regularly for a neighbour who can’t leave the house? Maybe you were inspired to raise money having seen Captain (now Colonel) Tom Moore’s efforts. Whatever it is that reinforces what we already know – that Park House is built around an amazing community – we want to hear about it.


We would also like to know about any other awards that have come through to you during lockdown. Whatever it is – if you’re proud of it we will be too!


Please email good or high resolution photos and your brief stories plus full contact details should we need to get in touch to find out more, either to tjones@parkhouseschool.org or dpeaple@parkhouseschool.org


Moving on to points of immediate information:


  • I’d encourage you to join the free webinar with Gazing Consultancy at 4.00pm on Monday. They really are world leaders in responding to change and challenge. I’m delighted that so many of you have already confirmed that you are going to join us. Here is the link to join the meeting:
    Password: 706826
  • We’ll aim to feedback on your surveys returns early next week. There were 112 responses to the student survey and 110 responses to the parent survey
  • If you have questions or queries about learning lesson by lesson, please remember to email your teachers in ‘real time’
  • Advance notice - school will be fully closed for the Bank Holiday on Friday 8 May. No work will be set
  • I am very sorry about the issues we are experiencing with Free School Meals. Unfortunately, the situation is beyond our control as it is a national issue
  • Finally, if as a parent, carer or student you are feeling overwhelmed by anything to do with work, please tell us. We are not going to be setting ‘virtual detentions’ for something that doesn’t get done. We’re here to listen, and help. Remember, we’ve never been here before either! We know that you may be worried that your young person may have gaps in their learning through no fault of their own. Rest assured that we are fully aware that this will be a school-wide issue and that next year’s curriculums will be redesigned by staff to fill in those gaps and consolidate what has already been learnt during this period of ‘virtual’ learning


So, please have a good weekend and stay safe with your families. Thank you once again for everything that’s been achieved, together.


Very best wishes


Derek Peaple