A message from Headmaster George Hartley

Dear all,

I’m just writing this note to wish all members of King’s alumni community well in these difficult times and to update you on what we’ve been up to at King’s since the lockdown and school closures were imposed at the end of March.

We have continued to provide support and supervision for the children of key workers in school, looked after by our own staff. We’ve had around 25-30 pupils of various ages in daily and have used Willow Lodge (our infant school built in 2016) to house them. The Design Technology department has also been busy providing plastic visors for local hospitals and care homes (about 2000 before we ran out of acetate!) and we’ve handed over all our spare science goggles and plastic gloves to hospitals and medical centres too. It’s been great to ‘do our bit’ for the community in such tricky and unprecedented times.  

We have also ensured that remote learning has continued for all pupils at home, this term making use of Microsoft Teams to deliver live and interactive lessons. I’ve been very proud of the staff for training themselves up in the use of such software in such a short period of time; I don’t think many of them got much of an Easter holiday though it’s been a great success, particularly for the older pupils who have learning adapted brilliantly to the new landscape of learning.   

I do think the students are missing all the extra-curricular activities that they’re all involved with in school; sport, music, drama, CCF etc. We’ve managed to provide some activities for homes but there’s clearly a limit to what we can do. I also think they are missing their school friends and all the social interaction within school; quite a few have told me they had no idea how much they would miss school!  

Just so you know, the school’s ‘Alumni Team’ of Liz, Nadine and Gina are currently ‘furloughed’ though I am staying in regular contact with them and the CAOKS representatives, particularly Adrian Ackroyd and Anthony Russell, have done a great job in maintaining communication links with the school. If anyone wants to contact me directly to offer any support or simply wish the staff and pupils well, you’d be very welcome to do so at hm@kingschester.co.uk

Looking forward, we will hopefully shortly hear from the government what the plans are for pupils to return to school. We hope this may be the start of June for our younger pupils at least, though time will tell. Needless to say, we are very keen to get back to normal as soon as possible.

I appreciate that many of our alumni live alone and that keeping in contact is really important just now, hence this message to make you still feel connected to the school and also to let you know that you are in our thoughts at this most peculiar time.

I do hope to see you in due course, especially when our alumni events resume which will hopefully be later this year.

In the meantime, stay safe and well.

Kindest regards, 

George Hartley