Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you are well and looking forward to the Christmas period, despite the current gloom around the emergence of new rules and variants. You will know we are now asking students to wear masks in lessons to keep the community safe; thank you so much for your support with this.
The last week has been an interesting reminder of how things were pre-Covid and how important it is for students to have opportunities to develop and grow. The Little Mermaid was a stunning production and the students and staff are to be congratulated; it was particularly important for those students in Year 13 to be part of such a show before they leave. This week I also watched the 1st XV play Eton College and put in an excellent display in brutal weather; this will have been the final appearance for the school for boys in Year 13 and I am so pleased they have been able to have a full season. The future of rugby is bright, too, as our Year 9 team have made the County Cup Final after a hard-fought victory over London Oratory.
As we head into the last week of Christmas term, I wanted to share the arrangements with you all. The school has a number of traditional end of term activities, which we have reviewed this year in light of the latest guidance regarding Coronavirus. One thing that is, happily unaffected by any guidance, is Christmas jumper day, which will be on Wednesday 15th December. All students are encouraged to wear a Christmas jumper (all other uniform should be as normal), and parents will be able to pay £2 via Parentpay which will be donated to Save The Children.
It is my view that the Carol Service is an important part of our school tradition, which we were very sad to miss out on last year, and one which we will do everything we can to reinstate this year. While guidance is less strict than last year, it is important that we are mindful of the risks and minimise them wherever possible, and therefore we plan to go ahead with the Carol Service with the following changes:
- The Carol Service will be for Years 12 and 13. Ordinarily, we would also include Year 9 and 10, but by restricting numbers we will be able to ensure students are sat downstairs in the church in their year group bubbles, meaning that the public can be upstairs, accessing the church by a different entrance. If you plan to attend, we require you to wear a mask. It would also be helpful if you could take an Lateral Flow Test on the morning of the service.
- Students will be lateral flow tested in tutor time in the final week of term. This will not only ensure that the Carol Service is able to go ahead safely, but also that all students and staff are kept as safe as possible in the build up to Christmas. Students and any visitors will also be required to wear masks during the service.
- As previously, we will be running a Carol Service on the Thursday evening (16th December) – I would strongly encourage any members of the public who wish to attend to do so on the Thursday, as this is traditionally a smaller service in terms of numbers. While the public are welcome on the Friday, space will be limited, and we may have to turn people away should the space become too crowded.
Please note that school will end for Years 9, 10 and 11 will be approximately 11:45am on Friday 17th December, while Years 12 and 13 will be leaving the church at 1:00pm approximately. The only exception is for students in younger year groups who are performing in the concert.
As with all things in the current climate, these arrangements will be subject to change.
Have a great weekend, and thank you for your support,