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Children’s Mental Health Week 

February 3rd, 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

Children’s Mental Health Week 

Welcome to February! We are now less than two school weeks away from the February half term. The school will be closed fully from Monday, February 15th and will reopen for critical worker and vulnerable students from Monday, February 22nd.

You will no doubt have followed stories in the press over the past few days suggesting that the current lockdown and school closures will have a detrimental impact on the life chances of all pupils. From my perspective, I do not think it helpful for politicians or figures in the media to comment on what may or may not be. We have wonderful young people in our school, and we are so very proud of them. They should not be down-hearted or concerned with a future none of us can predict. All we can say is that from a school perspective we will do our utmost to support them.

For me, it matters more that your child remains happy and feels supported. Sometimes the key to doing well in school is how happy and content a pupil is. Actually – this matters more than perhaps we realise. Young people are amazing. They are resilient and can adapt. 

This week is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. As a school, we are committed to supporting our student’s mental health during these difficult times. Students are regularly getting messages about how to support their own wellbeing via the Harrow Way Cast and have opportunities during tutor time to speak to their tutor about any worries or concerns they may have. Our pastoral team continues to support students who had previously been identified as requiring additional support remotely. The government has produced guidance for parents on how they can support their child’s mental health. If you have any concerns about your child’s well-being please make contact with your child’s tutor in the first instance or you can contact our designated safeguarding lead Katy Woods via her email: katy.woods@harrowway.hants.sch.uk.

Staff in school are overwhelmed by the dedication and diligence shown by our Year 11 students. It is this work ethic and desire to succeed that will put them in a strong position, not only now but in years to come. We are expecting guidance to begin to emerge over the coming weeks around the awarding of Year 11 grades. Without wishing to sound boring, all I can do is repeat to our students the need to keep going. 

As we now look towards the end of another complex half term, I would like to reiterate my thanks to all parents and stakeholders for their support, not only since January but over the years I have had the privilege to lead this school. The number of messages of thanks and kind words we receive each day makes all staff feel they are valued and their efforts are appreciated.

Finally, for this week, I am sure that like myself you felt the Prime Minister offered at least some clarity on school return dates. March 8th is now in our thinking, but we need to be cautious as to how this can be facilitated effectively. All we can do, and all we can ever really do, is deal with situations as we find them. There is no adult working in our school who prefers remote teaching. Now more than ever we appreciate the relationships, humour and warmth that comes from being together as a community. We have been astounded by the way our wonderful young people have coped with this situation and the sooner we are together again the better. 

I will continue to keep you updated through the eNews each Friday.

M J Serridge

 

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