11 weeks ago we shut our doors for the majority of students and began a new journey in the life of our school. Like travellers on a newly discovered sea we had no idea how long the journey would take or what we were going to encounter. Many of us thought it’d be over in a couple of weeks and we’d all be back together quickly, yet now here we are and we still have no idea when things will be back to normal (I’ll avoid the tired ‘new normal’ cliche)?
Despite this the school has become somewhat closer in these more socially distant times in many ways. Whilst we’ve always been a strong community it’s not often a worldwide life changing event comes along to test the strength of that community and really see if it is prepared to stand together and support each other. I’m pleased to say that we’ve all more than risen to the occasion from our wonderful weekly food parcel delivery service to the cakes created by Mrs Lee for Southport hospital and the PPE masks and equipment constructed by Mr Goodenough and the DT team for key workers in numerous health care establishments across the region. At times some staff have been more like deliveroo and amazon suppliers rather than teachers and it’s been amazing to see how everyone has pitched in where they can to benefit our community.
During this time we saw the release of our most recent Ofsted inspection and our community came together to celebrate the improvements made in 3 of the 4 key areas. To move to ‘Good’ from ‘Requires Improvement’ in Behaviour & Attitudes; Leadership & Management and Personal Development is testament to the hard work and commitment of all in our school community.
As part of our learning curve we have had to develop a new way of ensuring that the teaching and learning of all of our students has continued as far as possible. Whilst we know that currently the most important aspect is to keep our children safe we also know that any lost learning time will not be good for our students. Many of us are for the first time becoming online live teachers on your computer screens which is a career shift that might see some of us vying to take over from Piers Morgan when we realise our faces belong on television. (To be fair some of the unruly behaviour on his show could do with a teacher’s input.)
We’re also at the time we have every year where we have a mix of both new beginnings and a few goodbyes. Our year 11’s will be completing their studies and whilst most will be continuing their education with us in our sixth form there’s no doubt that the year has ended with more of a whimper than the usual bang of the summer leavers ball. Whilst many a bank balance is probably relieved to be spared the attack of a teenage prom dress and makeover, we know that they are missing out on a great chance to be with their friends and have a goodbye dance. I’m sure we’ll be working on an event to make up for this as soon as we are able. On the flip side of this we have our new beginnings with year 6 about to make their move to join us and preparations are underway to welcome them with a virtual tour, meet the teacher online and activities ready for them to get ready for the move to ‘big school’. It’s an exchange we have every year where we lose our familiar faces to start again with more characters that together we’ll mould in the CTK way.
As a school we’d like to thank you all and look forward to bringing us all back together in the future stronger and more together than ever. We’re proud to be part of the Southport and Birkdale community as we know it is one that will stand together when we’re in trouble and support each other through good and bad times.