September 2020 – a date firmly imprinted on my mind, would allow
us to launch innovative approaches in teaching and learning, in our
long awaited new Les Quennevais School building. An ambitious
investment in young people in the west of the Island, which had taken
years of careful planning, thinking and persuading was almost in
And then... it crept up on us with unimaginable stealth – COVID-19.
I remember vividly, sitting in our reception office late at night, with
colleagues listening in stunned silence to the Prime Minister of the UK,
making the unprecedented announcement, cancelling the GCSE and
A-level exam series for 2020.
And so... over the next few days the exodus from our safe, secure,
structured world began. We had to say goodbye to Year 11. We clapped
them out in a guard of honour. They had been ours for 5yrs and it
seemed as if they were being robbed of a chance to prove themselves
and experience those memorable moments, such as Leavers days and
their Leavers Ball. We made promises to them that we believed we
could keep. We told them Covid would end soon and they would get
their Prom and we would all be together again.
And so... we did what we do best. We focused on what we could do,
not what we couldn’t. A School is not really a building at all, it’s the
people that make a school and the reward for carefully nurturing and
developing a special culture over many years is, watching it spring into
action, without hesitation or question.
And then... it happened, we remained together and strong as a school,
even though we were very much apart. Technology was at the forefront
of change, allowing us to work in ways you never think you can, until you
have to, but it was people who really made the difference.
And so... together we were able to support our families as they learned
to live a different life that had been thrust upon them. Enabling learning
to continue was at the forefront of each day. It was a privilege to open
our doors for our students whose families were essentially employed
in the Island. When I look back at all the things we achieved as a
community, I could not be prouder.
And then... we had our new school waiting for us in September 2020,
as planned. But we have something even better than the amazing
building, we have a community that values being part of something
special. A community that cherishes being back together again,
despite Covid-19 being very much an ongoing presence in our lives.
And so... 2020 has reminded me that leadership is sometimes about
harnessing the collective endeavour. 2020 showed us that, our
profession delivers so much more than an Education. School is the
glue that holds families together. It is such a privilege to be part
of something that truly can and does make a difference to all our