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WEEK 2 - Friday 17 September 2021

At last….we have welcomed our students back into our school building and are almost back to “normality” as we knew it pre-covid. I write with caution as one thing we are now so acutely aware of is things can change very quickly in the current climate. But let's be positive and enjoy the fact that we are back and we are indeed back to some normality within the school community. 

I have spoken many times about how hard things have been for our students and their families over the last 18 months. I know first hand that these challenges remain, my own children returned to year 10 with the same worries and anxieties that happen at the start of each school year. Even more so that the “rules” have changed yet again. BUT it never fails to surprise me just how resilient our young people are. They have the strength and determination to succeed no matter what obstacles are put in front of them. This all stems from the unconditional support and guidance from parents and guardians in the first instance for which we are always thankful for. 

Having thought about the resilience of our students in these trying times, it led me to think about the amazing teenage tennis player Emma Raducanu. I hope like me, many of you were able to watch and be mesmerised by Emma’s talents as she went onto win the US Open Championship last Sunday evening. Her story is amazing. Her resilience is astounding. From practicing everyday in her driveway during lockdown when the tennis facilities were forced to close, to studying diligently for her upcoming A Levels alongside her tennis practice whilst preparing to play at Wimbledon in front of millions of watching spectators. To then having to deal with huge adversity when losing in the Wimbledon semi finals and having her mental strength and resilience questioned by many. What were her choices at this difficult period in her young life? Give up? Hide? Make excuses? NO...she worked harder, made changes in her life to ensure she would improve, and committed to looking after her mental health by looking after herself and her well being. All this at 18 years old and in the public eye. To then go on and win the US Open shows an amazing level of resilience and self belief. It truly was inspiring to watch. And to top it all off...she smashed her A Level exams as well!

I see resilience of this nature everyday within our school community. It is an attribute we all must work on, through the best times and through the most difficult times. We must always remember to ask for help and support in difficult times. And Like Emma Raducanu we will succeed in whatever we set out to do if we can continue to work hard, stay resilient and help each other. 

Welcome back to another exciting school year.

If you have any concerns or questions please contact me at

Mr Leckenby

Head of Year 9

Mrs Newman

Assistant Head of Year 9