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Peterhouse Girls

From the Headmistress' Desk - 21st May 2020

Friday 22 May 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

RE: FROM THE HEADMISTRESS’ DESK

My heart is filled with gratitude for so many people! 2020 has been hard for everyone, yet it has been managed with grace and determination that has exceeded my expectations.

Firstly, I would like to thank our amazing staff for their herculean efforts with online teaching. Online teaching is a completely new ball game to us all, and the switch from traditional face-to-face teaching, to conducting classes online has come with its fair share of complications. This is a programme that should have taken months or even years to roll out, however, it has taken our teachers a few weeks. I would like to commend each member of staff for taking on this battle so fearlessly, courageously and with huge hearts, and coming out victorious on the other side of every class. I have never been more inspired and proud.

I would also like to thank you, the parents for your unwavering support and dedication to your daughter’s education. Your role in the success of Peterhouse Digi-school has been incredibly important. As a mother myself, I know that this time has not been easy on you or your girls, and I want to encourage you to keep up the fantastic work you are doing – your daughter’s education is worth it!

And would you please pass on this message to the girls: Keep going! Support each other, check in with your friends, look after yourself, and don’t lose hope. Remember we are available to help you – don’t allow yourself to fall behind in this time. We miss you!

The following excerpts from the Rector’s Newsletter are important to note:
“As part of our ongoing effort to refine the Digi-school parents will receive notification via email inviting you to join Google Guardian. Essentially, it provides insight into the work that is being covered, the prep set and the prep submitted over a specified period of time (you will have a number of time-frame options to choose from). We hope that it will be a useful tool for parents to gauge the work being done at home as well as how well it is being done.

While on the topic of work, please note that live lessons/ Google Meets are not time constrained. The rule of thumb is that they should not be more than 30 minutes; however, there may be occasions where the nature of the lesson will require more than 30 minutes to complete. As we approach half term there will be a mark order in the same way that there would be in any other term; this will be based on the submission of at least three pieces of assessed work. Pupils are reminded to consult with their teachers on the mechanics of submitting work because one size does not fit all subjects. Lastly, there have been questions around the mock examinations. These will take place at dates yet to be determined and pupils will be given ample notice beforehand.

In addition to the academic component of our online learning, the Sports Department have been posting weekly conditioning programmes which I hope are proving useful to all our sportsmen and women. Our cultural activities are also venturing into the online space. I am aware that the Music Department are working on an exciting project.

Please stay in touch with the school through our social media platforms where we will be regularly posting messages and material relevant to managing online schooling. In this regard, I will be posting a message before the start of the fixture free weekend. The Directors of Studies (PHB/PHG) are working on, and will be posting, a clip on managing the online learning environment.

As you will be well aware there have been a number of statements related to the physical re-opening of schools and whilst we are conscious of the discussions taking place there is still uncertainty as to when and what this will look like. Nevertheless, in preparation for a return of pupils to the school, we will be sending out a parent survey to gauge your sentiments around a planned re-opening.

I would greatly value your support in completing this survey so that we can make informed decisions around the future direction of the term. I do appreciate that there will be a wide spectrum of views on the matter and we will need to base our thinking and decisions around the majority sentiment. In addition, in the background, we are working on a comprehensive document which will guide us in the run-up to re-opening and all the protocols needed to operate and manage a school in a COVID 19 environment.

Further to my remarks last week around efforts to manage the school’s overhead costs, there have been a number of constructive meetings and discussions this week. It has been agreed that all the school’s non-essential capex will be frozen for 2020; the school will be introducing some staff cost saving measures as well as other mechanisms which will help us reduce overhead costs without compromising the quality of our teaching and learning environment. With this in mind, there are still a number of parents who have yet to make a payment plan with the Business Director. I would like to urge you to make contact with him. Thank you to all those families who have supported us in this regard.”

As we look forward to celebrating Africa Day and enjoying a well-earned break from Digi-school; we also look forward to World Environment Day on the 5th of June.

In closing I would like to leave you with this piece of encouragement:

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardship, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Stay safe!

Warm regards,

Claire Hough
Headmistress

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