This week: Black History month, Y10 Silent study, High tier in London, Fire drills, A message from Head Girl, Julia Griffith
Black History month
The school has marked Black History month in a range of ways - with an assembly, a competition, quiz challenges, reading lists, contributions to the Friday News and more. There have been posters around the school paying tribute to inspiring black individuals who achieved a great deal but did not always get the recognition they deserved.
Now we need to review our curriculum and we will be doing this through our membership of the Camden Learning Ant-Racist Learning Hub, which is described as follows:
‘When we choose to be anti-racist, we become actively conscious about race and racism and take actions to end racial inequities in our daily lives. Being anti-racist is believing that racism is everyone’s problem, and we all have a role to play in stopping it.
The Anti-Racist Learning Hub will work together, in partnership with The Black Curriculum, to establish an anti-racist curriculum underpinned by the commitment to make anti-racist choices with intention daily. Racism operates at multiple levels and therefore the Learning Hub will establish how to ensure that an anti-racist curriculum is embedded through how we teach and what we teach.
This will mean confronting racist biases at the various levels – individual, interpersonal and institutional – to eradicate racism from the structures and fabric of our schools, our borough and wider society.’
We look forward to the first sessions of this project and to embedding its work in our school.
Y10 Silent study
After half term the Thursday SLT Catch-up session after school will be for Year Ten. If your daughter is asked to attend please remind her to do so - it isn’t a punishment but it is compulsory and it is one of the ways in which we are helping students to catch up.
High tier in London
As you will be aware, London is now in the High Tier of the local COVID alert level. The DFE has updated its Guidance - see link below.
This means that face coverings must be worn in communal spaces - a measure we already have in place. Thank you for your help in providing your child with a covering and supporting the school in this.
Another measure is the need to plan carefully for effective ventilation in classrooms - see section 8 of the guidance. This means we will have some windows open in classrooms and possibly doors as well to keep the air moving.
As the weather cools, students must therefore bring warm clothing into school; our aim is to keep the school heated but it will inevitably be cooler than usual. With younger students especially therefore we welcome your help reminding them to bring in layers to wear.
All year groups have now experienced a fire drill; they know where to go if the alarm rings and how to get there. Teachers report excellent behaviour and a serious response to the practice; well done everyone.
A message from Ella, Head Girl:
'I wish I could give a complete report on how students have been getting on but I only see my year! The Y10s in the Head Girl Team tell me that the beginning of their GCSE courses has been difficult but being able to see their classmates, teachers and friends have given them strength and reminded them that every girl is not alone. I believe this is true across Y7-13.
We are all facing this situation together. I miss seeing the younger years and communication feels dull. Though I have my complaints, the only thing on my mind is to stay strong, be resilient and to take care of myself physically and mentally. Every moment in the girls' developing years is precious and everyone is doing their best to look out for themselves and for each other. Being in the same classrooms and seeing the same people so often (though I love my friends) can be very exhausting and repetitive.
I hear from older siblings that the new Y7s aren't struggling (as much as I thought) to fit into this new setting. Through social media, emails and online school news, we try to stay connected. Uncertainty can have a detrimental effect on learning. The Head Girl Team will do all they can to keep every day alive so hopefully the girls will stay strong too. There is more to learn and more to change but each small step is enough.
On the whole, the girls have adapted well and refuse to let the circumstance take control. I'm glad the school is there for us every step of the way.'
We are very sad to announce the death of Julia Griffith, chair of COGA. Many of you will be aware of Julia's tireless commitment to the school and the old girls association, and we were deeply saddened to hear that she had passed away. We will include a fuller tribute to Julia shortly and we have passed the school's deepest condolences to her family and friends in COGA.