Headmaster's Blog | Friday 29 January 2021

29 January 2021

 

We now know that schools will not commence reopening until Monday 8 March and we will have more detail about how we are expected to proceed on Monday 22 February. This makes for uncertain times and our approach needs to reflect the extension of lockdown. Our goals so far this term have been to maintain the familiar routine and keep connected. The day is therefore a longer day than during the Summer Term 2020 and there is a lot of screen time because every lesson is a live lesson. We are convinced that the approach we’ve taken has meant that the virtual experience has not been a barrier to the sort of pleasing learning outcomes we expect at Caldicott. This is a source of comfort for teachers at a testing time, but it has taken its toll.

 

We have observed two things in the last week that are worth sharing. Firstly, there has been a slight downturn in the quality of the boys work, this being most noticeable on our tracking mechanism for handing in work where more boys than ever have got behind. Secondly, whilst the Wellbeing Survey has largely been a source of reassurance that the boys’ spirits are still high, there has been a slight tailing off. If lockdown was nearly complete we could hold on, but as we have some way to go, we need to make a change.

 

Our approach for the second half of the Spring Term will evolve to add a third goal. In addition to ‘maintain routine’ and ‘keep connected’, we now add ‘quality, not quantity’. We feel that each lesson will be a better lesson between Monday and Friday, if boys and teachers have the full weekend to rest. There would have been three days of Saturday school in the second half of term (27 February, 13 March and 20 March) and Caldicott will be now be closed on those three days. It is not an exact science, but in return we will move the end of term for all boys later, to the afternoon of Friday 26 March.

 

Each week our newsletter is testimony to the effort applied by each boy and to the imagination applied by their teachers in whom we are all very grateful. For real time updates, I would like to steer you to our social media channels which will enable you to feel even more connected.

 

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