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Holmleigh Park High School

Letter from the Head – 20 March 2020

Dear all,

I am writing this at the end of a very difficult week. At the end of the day, all of our staff gathered to applaud your children out of the gates. They have been beyond incredible this week, showing incredible compassion, care and commitment to each other and their teachers. When I walked round all lessons this afternoon, I couldn’t find a single child who wasn’t working hard.

We are especially proud of Year 11 and 13, who have worked so phenomenally hard this year. Even today, the vast majority of Year 11 chose to come into school to complete their Physics exam – despite the government announcement that their GCSEs were cancelled. I have no words to describe how much we admire them, and we are just so sorry that they are not getting the chance to finish the year properly and prove how far we have come as a school. With that said, I am confident they will get the qualifications they deserve, and have written to Year 11 and 13 parents to say so (Letter Here).
And of course, we will make sure they get their Prom – whenever it may be!

Many of you have contacted me to wish our staff well, and we’re incredibly grateful for your words of support. We end this week bruised and battered, but defiant. I couldn’t be more proud of the whole staff team, who have shown tremendous resilience. We were determined to keep the school open until today not just because every day of learning is precious, but because we wanted to show your children how much we care about them.

I appreciate we have sent out a lot of letters, so I just wanted to direct your attention to two pages:

We face uncertain times. I would like to share with you what I said to all students yesterday about why they can still be positive for the future:

“We have three values at Holmleigh Park: working hard, being kind, and taking responsibility. These are going to be more important than ever in the coming weeks.

We need you to keep working hard, like you have done every day this year. Your teachers have put a huge effort into setting up Google Classroom, and will be creating lessons and checking your work every day. We need you to meet us halfway by logging on each day and completing your assignments. This will mean that when we return to school, you’ll still be on track to make great progress.

Be kind to one another. The coming weeks will be challenging, and many of you will be at home for long periods of time. Use social media wisely – to encourage and support, not to spread fear or put others down. Be kind to your families; this will be a difficult and anxious time for them too. 

And lastly, take responsibility. None of us could have expected this to happen in our first year as Holmleigh Park, but it has. What matters now is how we all respond to it. Look after your wellbeing by eating well, and exercising often. Take the work seriously, and if you’re struggling – ask for help. Don’t wait for us to call you.

I want to finish by saying how incredibly proud I am of you all, and of your teachers. This has been the most difficult week of my career, but I have been blown away by how you have all risen to the challenge. You have shown incredible maturity, and I find it very comforting to know that you are the future of this country. We couldn’t be in better hands.”

I will keep in regular contact with you all throughout the coming months. On behalf of the Greenshaw Learning Trust and the school, I’d like to extend our best wishes to you and your families. Our thoughts will be with you in these challenging and uncertain times.

Yours faithfully,

Patrick Farmbrough