As we approach the end of another challenging academic year, I have been reflecting with some pride on the continued successes of both Pupils and Staff at FHS. We have all experienced difficulties in the past year associated with the Coronavirus and the impact it has had on daily living.
It has meant that we have had to be creative in our approaches to the support and learning that we offer. Some of the development initiatives that we had been working towards have had to accelerate as our usual partners and venues for activities have not been available.
I am particularly proud therefore of the progress we have made in introducing more Outdoor Learning and activity to our children and young people. Particular mention must go to Mr Shaw for the work that has gone into providing the initial Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition experiences, a steep learning curve for all involved, with many of the boys showing great resilience in trading their comfortable wi-fi enabled bedrooms for a night under the stars.
Another very successful initiative has been led by Mr Robb as he has introduced the Young Leaders programme. This involves some of the older pupils working with Mr Robb to develop the skills they need to support him in delivering outdoor learning to the younger pupils. It has been hugely encouraging to witness some pupils we thought might never tear themselves away from the computer screen approach Mr Robb and ask for inclusion in the project. A huge well done to Mr Robb, the initial trainees, and the boys asking to join the process. I look forward to this initiative expanding and being even more inclusive.
By the end of the school year our new playframe will be complete. Located on the rear lawn, the play frame, designed in consultation with Climbwired the main contractor, provides us with a much needed resource. The playframe has been designed to meet basic sensory movement needs, as well as lend itself to team development, but most importantly it will provide some simple fun for children of all ages.
As a Senior Leadership Team we have created some time to consider our approaches and the culture we aspire to. The start of this process involved consideration of the school’s Core Community Values. Through a process of consultation and reflection we have agreed on the five values below, which will underpin and inform our practise and behaviours over the coming years. These values will support our discussion with the pupils, but are also a charter for the children to hold all staff to account. I thank everyone who has engaged with the agreement process.
This is an important part of the developments we have made in our behaviour support policy which has been rewritten during the course of the last academic year to reflect a key message of relationships before rules.
It is my sincere hope that next year sees a return to ski trips and activity weeks, cinema trips and swimming – all of the things we had taken for granted, if we can’t, however, I am confident that we are much better placed than we were a year ago to offer the boys fun, rewarding experiences in and around the school.
We wish you all a relaxing and safe summer and hope that we can return to hosting physical events in school next year. As ever, if you would like more information on anything mentioned or to suggest ideas for further development and initiatives, please feel free to contact me.