Real Superheroes Wear Masks

As much as I never thought I would ever be walking around school wearing a mask, I also never thought that I would be looking forward to a week of hot fine weather with the degree of trepidation I currently feel. Rain is usually the meteorological challenge that I fear with the associated steamy classrooms and muddy shoes that follow. Next week we are told that temperatures will rise into the 30s and there is no sign of a relaxation of rules on mask wearing for our older pupils and staff.

Wearing a mask when teaching is a bind, wearing one while learning is no less of a bind. There are some splendid examples of home crafter face coverings and the now ubiquitous hospital light blues that we have become so familiar with. But there is no escaping the fact that wearing a mask makes teaching more difficult. To mitigate my rising irritation with having to cover up I have taken to reminding myself that in wearing my mask I hope that I am protecting other people. Our School holds the concept of service as one of its values. By wearing a mask, we recognise that school value. I also consider the individuals who have given so much of themselves in helping others; front line carers, those who have kept food shops open and others providing essential services such as education. Our masks are therefore a tribute to all who have stepped outside the safety of confinement to support other people. I take the opportunity to remind myself that many people have had to endure far greater discomfort than I feel wearing a mask by contracting this virus. We live, it has often been said, in uncertain times. By wearing a mask, I believe that we are doing something practical and useful, it is a simple act that perhaps provides stability. Seeing so many pupils simply getting on with their learning behind their masks is inspiring. Proof, if needed, that superheroes really do wear masks.

Our approach to re-opening has been one rooted in caution. I am pleased to be able to report that as we move further into term, we will be able to offer a wider range of activities on site. Please do keep checking the website for information. I thank all of my colleagues for their support in this and parents for their patience. As we move into the new normal, we must acknowledge that all our plans could be suspended at very short notice. Should a school-wide measure be necessary then I will inform you by means of a group called letter. Please do take a moment to check that the contact details that we have are accurate.

This has been a most successful first full week of school. Our pupils have made a positive start to their learning this year and they have coped with good humour when new rules and approaches have been instituted. We are trying to ensure that their experience this year is as close to that of every year while keeping them as safe as possible.

Nicholas Hammond