Executive Principal’s Blog – 22.5.20: ‘A Ray of Hope for the Future…..’
I would like to thank the senior leaders at Bushey Meads School for their dedication and hard work over the last eight weeks and for all their detailed planning as we move towards a ‘recovery phase’ for schools after lockdown, in line with the clear DfE’s directive to facilitate ‘face to face’ contact with key year groups from the beginning of next month. Many of you will be aware that this is enabling our hard working and aspirational Year 12 students to access lessons with their teachers on a phased and very carefully managed approach from Monday 1st June, building slowly towards 4 hours a day of learning in classrooms from June 22nd.
To enable this to happen a 27 page Covid-19 Whole School Risk Assessment (based on templates provided by Hertfordshire County Council and Union & DfE Guidance) has been written and shared with all staff, Governors and Members of the Trust Board and signed off by our Health and Safety Governor. As always these documents are live documents and will continue to evolve as all staff take their responsibilities across the organisation to assess and eliminate, as far as possible, any associated risks as we move into this new phase. The plan will be reviewed on a daily basis and the risk assessment adapted accordingly.
Parents and carers also need to be reassured that, if the direction of travel changes and the DfE issue further advice delaying the opening of schools, we will respond immediately and, even if this occurs in the next 9 days, we will inform parents of this fact and remote online learning will continue to be supported.
It is important to remember that throughout this lockdown period our school has not closed for a single weekday – not even during the holiday periods and that is testimony once again to the dedication of staff who, as always, go the extra mile for the students in our care. In recent weeks there have been as many as 30 staff and up to 12 students on the school site and we have adjusted really well to this new normal of social distancing and increased awareness of issues related to personal hygiene and environmental cleanliness.
In a small but significant way this has reassured us of the safety of the organisation and allowed us to make the changes required. Not only that, but the school has continued to move positively forward. The senior leadership team have concluded our detailed whole school self-evaluation process, started to formulate an exciting new School Improvement Plan which will take our school onto the next level over the next three years and continued to recruit some excellent staff who are looking forward to joining us on that journey from September.
I must also pay tribute to our incredible site staff, especially our senior caretaker Gary Campion. He has led the team and worked incredibly hard to prepare the school site for lessons after half term, proactively overseeing a number of new initiatives related to health and safety. Not only that, he has also worked within the team to decorate and refurbish no less than 5 classrooms across our school! He has been one of many members of staff who have really stepped up and led by example in these challenging times and for that we are all extremely grateful.
This morning a number of staff who could attend, gathered in our Main Hall to talk through the risk assessment and ask questions about this next phase we are moving into. It was great to once again meet together and realise that we are all in this together and as always want the very best for the students in our care – putting safety at the heart of what we do. A ‘ray of hope’ certainly shone.
Finally I would like to thank all the Year 12 parents and carers for their positive support for our plan for the way forward.
I wish you all a very happy weekend and restful half term week; as always do click on the link to read our latest BMS News.