Return to School

And we’re back!

To be certain of a crisp start to the return to the live classroom, Hasmonean’s Leadership Team, with the help of support staff, began the testing programme in the first week of March. As a parent and a teacher, when I went into school with my daughter for her testing, and to collect my kit, I was impressed with the ease and organisation of this session. Students signed in and were given their swabs, which were duly swirled and dripped onto the test sticks. While I was there, the data so far indicated that all the girls had tested negative. This also suggests that while in lockdown, the students have been adhering to the Government guidelines – so well done to every single student!

Andrew McClusky CEO said of the start of the ‘new’ term: ‘The feedback that we have had from parents both about the education and support Hasmonean has provided through the various lockdowns has been wonderful. However, it is fantastic to have all of the pupils and teachers back in the building. The pandemic has really highlighted the true value of schools and just how important they are in giving students the foundations they need for their future lives. Headteachers Mrs Lebrett and Mrs Brice, together with our Senior Leadership Team and in-house testing teams have worked exceptionally hard to commence testing the week before school opened on March 8th. The logistics have worked very well and there has been a high uptake for the lateral flow testing. We have a small number of pupils who are exempt from wearing masks for medical reasons but we are expecting all of the other students to wear them.

Parents have been really appreciative of the online lessons, and were delighted that students returned to the classroom. One mother emailed to say; ‘Most importantly of all, they all went off to school this morning in a positive frame of mind, slightly nervous after such a long gap, but happy to be back in familiar surroundings, in a classroom environment and to see their friends in person again.’ The return has gone smoothly, even though one Year 11 student simply said ‘it was better than I expected’.

Being in school, hearing tannoy announcements summoning students to tests, seeing smiling eyes above masks and using Chromebooks as well as exercise books- this return has been powerful and positive… as long as we all keep testing negative!