July 2020

Dear Parents,
None of us could have envisaged the sort of term that we have just experienced. It has been incredibly frustrating for all of us and I was delighted to receive the government document yesterday providing guidance for the full reopening of schools in September. We will provide further details over the holidays regarding how we will operate when we come back next term. We may not quite be back to what we consider being normality, but we will very much be on the way to whatever the “new normal” may prove to be.

I am absolutely delighted with our impending move up to the College; this will secure the future of our school and strengthen both schools at a time when things are more than challenging for independent schools across the country. Those of you who were connected with DCPS six years ago will be aware that this move very nearly took place then. In the intervening years the relationship between the two schools has, if anything, grown even stronger and the merger will benefit the whole of our community.

I must pay tribute to those who have continued to run our school while the vast majority of us have been furloughed. In particular Mrs Davies who has very much led from the front and also to all of the teachers who have had to adapt to a completely different way of working and have continued to be creative and inventive with their lessons.

We have nearly all found ourselves spending far more time together as a family over the past few months and while this has certainly not been without its challenges for us, I can honestly say that it has been a very positive and enjoyable experience, with a great deal of laughter. I would be the first to accept that we have been in an incredibly privileged position as a family with so much space around us, but one of the highlights each day for me and Joe, in particular, has been doing Joe Wicks’ workouts in the confines of our front room. As I said in my blog at the beginning of the week, to my mind the most important point to have come out of “Lockdown” has been to look after your own and your family’s mental and physical health. I think this has always been the case; it has just been accentuated by what we have all been through over the past few months. If we struggle in either of these areas, work becomes more demanding and life becomes more challenging. We shall continue to work on both of these areas with our children from next term.

As you know, we have a number of goodbyes to make this term. It is always sad to lose people and every single member of staff who is moving on has contributed significantly, and in different ways, to the development of our school during their time with us. I thank them all and wish them every happiness and success for the future.

With everything being up in the air regarding Covid-19, we have taken the decision to play rounders and cricket for the first half of next term. The weather at this time is frequently better than it is in April, and we may even be able to get some fixtures in before half term. After the break we hope to return to rugby and hockey. Fixtures, if they are possible will take place in the latter part of the term. I have been in touch with other schools regarding this, but no one is able to commit to matches yet.

As usual, we will have boys playing cricket and girls playing rounders unless we hear from you that your son or daughter would prefer the other sport. If this is the case, please let us know and we ask that the commitment is made for the full half term.

We have also decided that children will go home in their sports kit on games afternoons from the start of next term. They should put their uniform into their games bag when they change after lunch so they can simply pick this up and leave after the games session.

Next term’s calendar will be published online and updated regularly, because so many of our usual activities are still to be decided and will depend on developments regarding Covid-19.

Finally, we recorded the speeches that James and Tilly, our Head Boy and Head Girl, made at the end of term. You can see them on Teams and Facebook, they are well worth listening to!

I do hope that you will manage to get away somewhere over the course of the summer holidays. I think we all need a break after the experiences of the past few months. Wherever you go, travel safely and have fun. Have a lovely summer and we look forward to seeing those returning to DCPS in September.

Best wishes
Jerry Gear