From Y7 pupils to Y11 pupils - getting ready for a new academic year is exciting and daunting in equal measure. I will let you into a little secret – teachers experience exactly the same feelings!  

I like to use a joke for Y7 parents which I've borrowed from Mr Eyes, former Deputy Headteacher ... "don't worry about the first few days in school for your son or daughter, there will be upset, there could even be tears, but the staff will soon recover!".

Our return to school has been incredibly smooth; it has been lovely welcoming our school community back to a more 'normal' way of life, one without face coverings or ‘bubbles’.  We have been able to come together to share whole year group assemblies in the main school hall, which has been quite an emotional experience for us all.  We have really missed being together in our year group communities.

It has also been wonderful to watch how quickly our Year 7 pupils have settled into our school community, looking very smart in their new school uniforms.  I am sure that they had many questions playing in their minds as they prepared to come to secondary school … Will I be successful? Will I make friends? Will the teachers be nice/strict?  However, what is already very apparent to us is that they are keen to embrace this new experience, as it will be a time filled with excitement, engagement, friendship and happiness. 

As all our year groups have now moved up onto the next step in their learning journey, we have a new Year 11 cohort who have returned to school ready for the challenges that this year will bring for them.  Our new Prefect Team have been given their responsibilities and will be led superbly by our new Head Boy, Robert Morris and Head Girl, Megan Blaikie, Deputy Head Boys, Angelo Cutrona and Robbie Edwards, and Deputy Head Girls,  Alicia Smith and Isabel Hill.  I would like to offer my congratulations to the Senior Prefect Team on their appointments to these prestigious positions.  We have taken the team photograph this week, ready to update the board in our reception area and I look forward to working closely with them this year.

The Year 11 cohort will have their final year photograph taken in a couple of weeks' time, which is always a poignant moment for us, as we reflect on what they have achieved so far and feel optimistic about their achievements yet to come.

However, as we begin another year of learning, we remind our pupils that they do not need to predict how everything will play out this year – they only need to focus on the next step and keep moving in the right direction. We will be there for them in every step of their journey, holding their hand along the way.