A message from the Acting College Principal, Mr Duncan McQueen.
Online, offline, remote, distant, onsite, offsite, real, virtual and the list could go on – these words have become common in the lexicon of 2021. Add the suffix ‘learning’ and you have in many ways summarised the experiences of students and staff this year.
We have had a year like none other in this generation. However, throughout the last century there have been a number of epic and life changing global events and we do get through them and grow because of them.
The same will probably be said of this current pandemic. The term ‘going viral’ has unfortunately taken on new meaning, one we cannot disconnect from with a tap of the ‘delete button’. Fortunately, our community of learners have shown adaptability and resilience in the face of the challenges of lockdowns, uncertainty, cancellations, and constant change. As a school, we have learned new skills, such as mastering ‘Teams’ to connect and collaborate and along the way deepen our ICT skills. We have gained a greater appreciation of being ‘normal’ and taken for granted experiences, such as the freedom and privilege to attend school each day, and take part in assemblies, chapel services, sports, performing arts and the many other passions we enjoy. Yes, we can recreate and transition these to a new environment but sometimes and in some ways ‘it’s just not the same’. There are reasons we do things the way we do them, and if nothing else this pandemic has given us a better understanding of the rationale on which we build the diversity of our College programmes.
The Values and character of the College do transcend the potential divide that could have been a consequence of lockdowns and disconnection within our community. I do believe we have grown stronger rather than weaker as a College through 2021, and we can look forward to 2022 and all that it may bring. Nothing is certain and we will continue to put the wellbeing of students and staff and indeed our community at the forefront of our thinking and actions. Our pastoral support underpins our care for students and I am encouraged by the engagement and interactions between our tutors and tutees, throughout the year, both onsite and remotely.
I think it is fair to say that if 2020 was our introduction to Covid, 2021 has been the main menu. Hopefully 2022 will see us move forward, however, the world has changed both in school and in our lives. Spending nearly a term and a half of our time online it has been a difficult year to maintain normality. Thank you to students and staff for persevering and navigating through the storm and challenges of this year.
I do hope the summer break will provide us all with a time to recharge and refresh.
Fides Servanda Est
Mr Duncan McQueen
Acting College Principal