There have been some significant announcements this week about changes to the lockdown from 4th July. As you may be aware, the aspiration of all students returning to school in September on a full-time basis has been expressed in the media but there has not yet been any further communication to schools as to how this is expected to happen within the expectations of social distancing and the school being a safe environment for all.

We are obviously considering scenarios but unfortunately as I write this we do not currently have either the guidance or the autonomy to confirm how things will look; as soon as we have either we will do so as we are very keen for all students to return as soon as is possible in a safe and appropriate school environment. We will keep parents and carers updated when we receive the guidance and it is very likely that its release will be made public at the same time that we receive it.

It has again been great to have Year 10 and 12 students in school this week. To be honest we were a little unsure about how many would feel comfortable returning to school at this time but of those who are able to attend pretty much everyone has in Year 10 and everyone has in Year 12. This is a very positive reflection of the nature of our school community and we know that students in Years 7, 8 and 9 are desperate to return as soon as they can. Further information about the face-to-face meetings we are offering students in these year groups will be sent to parents and carers shortly.

Although we await the guidance around the “nuts and bolts” of how next year will start we are strategically planning the support we will need to be offering the school community as it returns. One aspect of this is to consider how we will be supporting the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff moving forward. Communication is going home about a survey from the University of Oxford which a large number of Oxfordshire schools have participated in and which we would encourage students to complete it in the coming weeks. We will use its results and outcomes to inform this aspect of our planning for next year and the future.