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Head's Blog - Reflecting on a year of lockdown

On this day of reflection, a year since we first went into lockdown, I have been thinking about what that journey has meant to us here at school. Whilst the past 12 months have been immensely hard and filled with much personal and collective challenge and grief, I am overwhelmed with pride in how Redmaids’ High community have not just coped but thrived during this time. Therefore, now seemed to be a time to reflect on some of the ways we have adapted and the successes we have had over the past year.

23 March 2020. Boris Johnson calls for a national lockdown including all schools to close for an indefinite amount of time. Our online learning provision begins the next school day, as did our key worker school on site.

March and early April 2020. Our transport manager Roy takes his minibus all over town, delivering books and other resources to students who have not had the chance to empty their lockers. His colleagues have named this service DeliveROY.

April, May and June 2020. We hear so many stories from students who are doing their bit to support those who need it during lockdown. Junior school pupils raise funds for St Peter’s Hospice, the music department put on a virtual concert to boost morale for the residents of St Monica Trust.

May 2020. In one of a number of staff initiatives to boost morale, this rather fun video is created....

 

July 2020. We host our annual Prize Giving – this time a virtual affair – to celebrate the hard work and achievements of so many students. We also had the opportunity to say goodbye to outgoing members of staff, including Mrs Tobias, who led the school for 19 years.

July and August 2020. Exam results days may not have been what we are used to, but we still celebrate the achievements of each and every GSCE, A Level and IB student.

August 2020. Whilst the site is closed the senior team and support staff work tirelessly to ensure the site is safe for everyone to return in September. Each part of the school is divided into zones, and new temporary buildings are erected to make sure each year group as a safe and secure base. Hand santising stations are placed throughout the school, screens are put up in Reception and on our mini buses, and new signage is installed to remind students and staff what to do.

September 2020. New year, new head! I am truly delighted join this outstanding community, albeit at a difficult time and we are over the moon to be able to students back on site, in as safe an environment as we can possibly make it!

October 2020. We are so proud of Lilly in Year 8 who was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Sports Woman of the Year Award. During lockdown, Lilly posted a video of her hockey drills and skills at home every single day to social media, inspiring others to get active.

December 2020: We had three new socially distanced House Events on site, initiated by Sixth Formers - the Santa run, the music video and the whole school online quiz, which all helped raise money for Caring in Bristol.

January 2021. On our inset day we safely conducted our senior school entrance exam, with students in classrooms across the site at safe distances. Little did we know that by that evening we would hear news of the next school closure.

January 5. After the government announcing the latest lockdown on 4 January, our online learning resumes, with a full teacher led timetable including activities away from the screen. Lessons are reduced from an hour to 45 mins to allow time to get offline.

February 2021. During Children’s Mental Health Week, Feb 1-5, we have a screen free day, and hold one-to-ones with every student to understand their worries, anxieties or talk about anything they would like to discuss. There is no homework set this week, and wellbeing is our absolute top priority.

Once again, the staff think a morale boost is required and create this video to put a smile our faces during assembly.

February half term: In a staff vs students distance challenge, we raised over £5000 for United World Schools, and specifically to aid our partner school, Jong School, in Cambodia. Staff cycled ran or walked 5382km but the students did one better clocking up 6101km!!

March 2021. Setting up on onsite testing facilities means we are allowed to bring students back on to site – we are so happy to have a busy school site again.

 

While the past year has been one of the most challenging we have faced as a school community and individuals, we are exceptionally proud of the way our students and their families have dealt with the difficulties facing them. The continued kindness we have shown one another brings promise for the future, and hope that we may find the year to come a little easier than the one just past.

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Date Posted: 23 March 2021
School Blog The World Beyond

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Redmaids' High 
Junior School

juniors@redmaidshigh.co.uk
0117 962 9451

Grange Court Road
Westbury-on-Trym
Bristol BS9 4DP

Company number: 5165135
Registered charity number: 1105017 

Redmaids' High School
Senior & Sixth Form

seniors@redmaidshigh.co.uk 
0117 962 2641

Westbury Road
Westbury-on-Trym
Bristol BS9 3AW                        

TES Schools’ Award – Shortlisted – International
TES Schools Award – Shortlisted – Sports