Friday 15 January 2021

Dear Parents

I hope that you have all had a good week and remain well, along with your families during this current lockdown. It seems to me that the darker evenings and wet weather makes this a harder time for so many of us in comparison to the first lockdown but it is with hope that I listen to the daily updates on growing vaccination numbers for the most vulnerable in society.

The boys have continued to work hard in their lessons and I have been really impressed with the quality of work that I have seen coming through from so many of them via Google Classroom. It is not easy to sustain focus online for such long periods and I hope that the boys are ensuring, in line with my assembly this week, that they are getting away from their desk at break times and moving around, and also continuing to exercise and update their exercise logs.

In Pre-Prep I have loved seeing some of the live Zooms on the classroom screens in Key Worker School and the boys working hard on the tasks in front of them.

I know that for some this is a very difficult time and if boys are struggling with their work, please do ensure they talk to their teachers about it and what can be done to support them.

With all this in mind, as a foundation we have decided that on Friday 29 January we will be having an afternoon without screen time where lessons will not be taking place and the boys will not need to dial in to any Zoom sessions or do any school work. We are aware of the fact that many boys, and indeed staff and parents, will have spent a lot of time in front of a screen over the ​previous​ four weeks of term and we feel that time spent off screen then and over that weekend would be a great break for them. So, we will be setting up a voluntary challenge which boys and families can choose to participate in that afternoon if they wish – details of the challenge will be shared nearer the time. However, there is no compulsion to be involved in that, it could simply be an afternoon of quiet reading, relaxation or dog walking. The only stipulation we have for the boys is that they cannot be in front of a screen.

We would love to receive any photos or videos of the boys’ challenge or activities on that afternoon and hope to put together a slideshow / video to share with the boys during an assembly. We feel that after four weeks of term this will be a great time for the boys to step away from their screens. Hopefully that will also encompass the entire weekend as well.

For those boys attending Key Worker Care, they too will be taken away from their screens and will either participate in the challenge or have other activities set up for them. I understand that there may be some boys or families who may wish to do half a day of KWC instead but we will be in touch with families nearer the time regarding this.

My thanks again must go to all of our amazing key workers around the country who are continuing to help us all through this difficult time.

I hope you all have a good weekend and stay safe.

Best wishes


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