As I write to you, we are hours away from a well-earned break after a busy half term. No matter how much planning and preparation we do before September, it always seems to be an almost frantic time. A couple of the school’s governors visited yesterday and commented on an atmosphere of busy, occupied, happy students working hard; it is always good to know that my view of the tone at Earlscliffe is reinforced by the views of independent visitors.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that our published term dates always include what we designate a ‘travel day’ at the end of each period. The idea is that we have a full day of lessons, with all students present and involved until 1630, and then a quiet evening to pack, and students travel the next day – in this case it is Saturday 21 October. If your child travels before the travel day, that means a number of lessons are missed. Furthermore, it is hard for a teacher to press on with a topic if many students are absent from the class. I appreciate that a week is not a long break, but it will be more effective if we all arrive and depart together. I appreciate that travel can be a challenge, but please do support us on this if you can.
On Saturday 14 October, we welcomed 100 former students, colleagues and current staff to Earlscliffe for an alumni event, and to mark ten years since the opening of the school. I must say that it was an absolutely joyous occasion; reunions often are, but the tone of this one was very special. We spoke about the remarkable nature of Earlscliffe – a small, thoughtful community where we know and care for each other. I reminded the returning students of the qualities and values that had made them feel that they belonged when they were here, and that they were celebrating by coming to the event. I encouraged them to take those values into their professional lives and keep the lessons of Earlscliffe with them whatever life brings. It was of particular note that quite a few had flown from overseas to be with us on the night – a particular effort and commitment that we all appreciated.
After the upcoming half term an invitation will be sent out to you. This invitation will offer you the opportunity to get summaries of the homework that your child has been set, along with any work that is yet to be completed. You will have three options, daily summary, weekly summary or no summary. Please look out for an email from Google Classroom.
With best wishes,
Joss Williams, Head Teacher