WEEK 37 - Friday 9 July 2021
Apparently there is a football match taking place this weekend which is of some significance and, as I write this blog, the students - and most of the staff - are incredibly excited. I am not much of a football fan, to be honest; I tend to prefer cricket or rugby league (black and white, by the way!). But, once in a while, the national team exceeds expectations and I find myself getting swept up in the excitement. And so I shall be watching with my family on Sunday night, hoping for a historic win. Only football has the global appeal to do this and to bring together almost the whole country in one shared purpose, or dream.
This particular occasion is, of course, extra special. Coming after 16 months of hardship and difficulty, it is giving the country something to truly care about and to enjoy especially since most of us have never seen an England team in a major final in our lifetimes. But, just as importantly, the team themselves are so easy to like and admire. Footballers tend to get a bad press from lots of people and there have definitely been times over the years when I have moaned about their rich lifestyles and, in lots of cases, their arrogant and entitled attitudes. But this group does seem different. And that attitude is personified in the manager and leader, Gareth Southgate. He really is an inspiration to anyone in leadership regardless of whether that is sport, business, education or otherwise. His humility, his honesty and his respect for others stands out during these troublesome times and we have spoken at length to our students about these qualities and how they can elevate an individual above their peers for all of the right reasons. For once, it has been great to share in the growth of the national team in a way that goes beyond football. I hope that you all enjoy the occasion on Sunday, regardless of the outcome.
Our Trust are currently working with the charity, Mind, and the Tigers Trust to develop a potential joint working partnership. It is envisaged that the partnership would allow each school access to a Mind Counsellor and a Tigers Trust member of staff for a day a week. For the project to move forward we need to obtain funding and are writing a bid. As part of the process, we need to gather views from students, parents and staff in relation to the impact of Covid-19 on mental health and well-being. It would be helpful to our bid if you could take a few moments to complete the survey which can be found here. The deadline is 16 July. Many thanks for your support.
Finally, next week, I will be sending home my usual ‘Summer Letter’ which will wrap up a number of key bits of information regarding the new term. Please read it carefully and keep it to hand as a reference throughout the summer. As yet, I am not able to confirm the plans for the return of students to school in September although I am hopeful that this will be shared by the end of next week and this will also provide information on the testing that may be required at that time.
Have a lovely weekend.
Mr V Groak