Principal heralds ‘unique opportunity’ to raise standards, as students return
As Homewood re-opened to students for the start of the new academic year Homewood Principal Jeremy Single expressed his optimism for the year ahead and for the opportunities it presents.
“Our return to school under these new circumstances provides us with a very unique opportunity to raise standards and expectations even further so that students and staff alike are working together in order to ensure that each and every day in school is a safe, happy and purposeful one. It is therefore imperative that we are united and all grasp this opportunity with an absolute determination to succeed.”
Re-affirming Homewood’s vision statement* Mr Single added: “Whilst our working conditions may have changed for the time-being, our vision and high expectations have certainly not.
“Although our immediate concerns are of course about the safe return to school, it is still important that we continue to think about our longer-term plans and priorities for school improvement. After everything our students have been through, they deserve to be able to reach their full potential.
“For example, I am really excited that we are still able to launch our new Year 9 curriculum model at the beginning of this academic year. We have also developed a new and enhanced student engagement initiative to support some of our most vulnerable students with a very strong focus on reintegration and learning.”
Reflecting on the impact of the past few months on all members of the school community, Mr Single said he recognised that alongside the excitement of at last being back in the classroom there would also be anxieties amongst both students and staff. “Whilst we must all start this new school year as positively as we can, the threat of the COVID-19 virus is still very much present, and we must therefore not forget that our shared top priority is to continue to do everything possible to help protect everyone’s health, safety and wellbeing.”
Everyone from the IT department to the premises team, he said, had spent the Summer ensuring the school was ready to provide a safe and secure environment for all students and staff to confidently return. In addition the school’s leadership team had successfully reconfigured the entire school layout to accommodate year group bubbles and one-way systems, as well as creating staggered timetables to help protect bubble integrity.
Mr Single concluded: “Despite there still being many uncertainties ahead of us, we don’t want the crisis from the last academic year to set us back in any way. It is important that we try to take control of what our ‘new normal’ will actually look like and seize the exciting opportunities that this offers for the educational achievement of our students.”
* Homewood Vision Statement: Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre aims to provide a vibrant world class learning experience. We work as a team, learning in partnership with each other and the wider community. We provide flexible learning opportunities and have high aspirations for all.