I hope you have all had a lovely Easter.
Schools should be the rock of any community. A place of safety and trust and belonging. A place where people turn to if and when they need it whether it be for an education or a venue or a refuge. In the past two weeks that is exactly what LECA has become. We have been open for our NHS worker children and our vulnerable children, even when only one child has been booked in. That is our commitment, and will continue to be our commitment, to our students and their families whenever they need us. Thank you to all of my staff for making this happen. You are an awesome team.
Meanwhile, the Easter holidays started and students at home could take a well earned rest from schoolwork. At the same time, I'm sure our parents took a huge sigh of relief as they realised their teaching duties could pause and they could resume their lives without trying to translate Shakespeare or explain why a minus and minus makes a plus! I resisted the urge to say resume 'their normal lives' because clearly nothing is normal about a Lockdown. There are, however, some positives to come out of this.
1) More time. We always fight against time in our normal lives but now we have it by the bucketload. What are you all doing with it? I've rediscovered some old games and dusted them off to play with the family. I've also taken up a challenge from a family member to learn a particularly tricky tune on my guitar. He doesn't think I'll be able to do it but in true LECA style I'm fostering a Growth Mindset and am determined to prove him wrong! We often talk about the importance of creativity and the Arts at LECA so I hope you're all finding time to get into something new.
2) Getting outside. We are always talking about getting outside and away from screens and the Government directive to take some daily exercise seems to have been embraced by almost everyone. Mrs Emmess has also started the hugely successful Healthy Selfie challenge and it's been great to see so many engaging with healthy activities both at home and outside. Keep those pictures coming and keep healthy. We want to see more and more of you on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
3) Using Zoom. Again this seems to have been embraced by many of us in the LECA community and may well shape how we educate in the future. It's also been used to hold meetings and, among some of the teachers, to take part in highly competitive quizzes! This week 12 members of staff joined in and it was a great forum to see each other and catch up. Schools are tight-knit places and it reaffirmed to me what a fantastic group of people we have working at LECA. Somehow, Mrs Hedges won the quiz but with her husband close by the credit must go to him too. Well done both of you and we will go again this Friday.
4) Family time. While I know the Lockdown has been hugely stressful for some, this is the time to reconnect with our families. This is the time to talk and rekindle our love for one another and get to know each other again. There are hundreds of posts on social media, making fun of the stresses and strains in family life at the moment but I'm sure families will come out of this stronger and closer than ever. Enjoy the time together because (hopefully) nothing like this will change our lives so dramatically again.
Finally a few bits of news and reminders.
The Options Portal is open and all students should have received a link so they can login and make their choices. Please email Mr Hughes - email@example.com - if you need any help with the portal and email teachers directly if you need any guidance making your choices. Email addresses are all on the website.
The application window for Prefect positions is now open and I welcome application letters from Year 8 and 9 students who meet the criteria I sent to out. With regards to the attendance criteria I will judge these based on pre-closure data and on a case by case basis.
We have now almost completed our teaching staff recruitment and will shortly be advertising for support staff both in the classroom and in admin. If you'd like to join our brilliant team, keep a look out for ads in the usual places and on social media.
Take care and stay safe.
Head of School, LECA.