Covid-19 Update 9th April 2020

14/04/20

Our Spring term newsletter is now complete and is available via the link below. It’s well over 20 pages long (electronically) and will allow you to catch up on what’s been going on in school over the last term.

https://www.hartfordhigh.org.uk/uploads/files/spring-2020-newsletter-81.pdf

You may have read in the local and national press that schools are donating what they can to help the NHS with regard to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); we are also playing our part in that. Last week we donated over 300 pairs of safety glasses from our Science and D&T classrooms. Our staff have jumped at the chance to do what they can to help.

By the end of today (Thursday) we will have made contact with every student on roll or their family. In a minority of cases this will have been a message left on an answer phone. This has been a huge undertaking by the (mainly) pastoral team and they have really enjoyed speaking to students they haven’t seen for quite a while now. I think it’s important for our children to know that we work in schools because we enjoy the social interaction with colleagues and young people (as well as everything else) and the adults miss students, colleagues and friends too. If we didn’t manage to speak to you directly, please remember that we are at the end of a phone or email for you.

I hope you are continuing to cope well with our new ways of life. The students know that I am a great advocate of reading. As I often say to them: the evidence is very clear – reading makes you cleverer! With more time on our hands I wonder how students (and adults) are taking the opportunity to read even more.

I certainly am. The number of emails I am receiving from various groups such as the Local Authority, the Diocese of Chester and the Department for Education seem to have increased over the past 3 weeks and I am having to be very disciplined in structuring my time to ensure that I reply promptly and efficiently. I am also corresponding with staff a lot more via email as over 90% of staff are now working from home every day. Emails and other forms of electronic communications have their place and I am sure that when we return to some form of normality there will be some things that have changed for good; on a personal level, however, I miss the day to day social interaction with staff and students.

For the last 8 years or so I have read for pleasure so much more since I acquired a Kindle (other devices are available and I am not on commission). I particularly enjoy reading well researched historical fiction – anything from ancient civilisations to medieval times and the Tudors to tales of the late Twentieth Century Cold War. I have just finished re-reading The Plague by Albert Camus. I was reprimanded at home for buying a Kindle version as we already have the paperback version. It’s well worth a look. It’s an allegorical novel: on the face of it it’s about how the plague affects a town in Algeria but the subtext is to do with the Nazi occupation of France during World War 2. There are lots of parallels with the current situation that we are all facing.

All that remains is for me to wish you a Happy Easter. As a Christian, this week is the most important time on the calendar and a time when the world should pause for thought and give thanks for the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us. Our school motto literally refers to this love and truth of Jesus.

In Caritas et Veritas,

Mike Holland