Headmaster's Blog | Friday 18 June 2021

18 June 2021

 

This week has presented the challenge of blending the obligation we have to abide by guidance presented by Public Health England with our desire to deliver as near normal an experience as possible for the boys with special consideration for boys who are soon to leave Caldicott. I am confident that we have found the right blend and with endorsement by a number of the Caldicott community who are knowledgeable about the spread of this delta variant, we move forward taking each day as it comes.

Regrettably I must share that the landscape of the pandemic has escalated in our area. Since the pandemic began Caldicott has not had a single positive case while the boys have been at school, but pre-preps, preps and primary schools near here have not been so lucky. Not far from here a fellow head has reported there is surge testing and elsewhere, another fellow head has had to send a year group home. With transmission now being most prevalent in children of prep school age, we are experiencing something that has not happened throughout the pandemic – the message to us from Public Health England about our prevailing systems of controls is more earnest than in any other age group.

Please continue to use my letter from Monday as an aide memoire for your schedule yet I may be required to make further, disappointing decisions that would reduce your access. Disappointingly, the New Boy Activity Morning has been cancelled and will be replaced with an online version. It would be misleading not to share with parents of leavers that if the delta variant doubles again next week, then attendance at Sports Day may alter. At this stage, please plan for no more than two adults per family to attend events in order to minimise numbers.

Back to normal business: today is Common Entrance Results Day! Here at Caldicott, alongside the country’s top tier senior schools, we remain loyal to this range of exams which at the very least serve the welcome purpose of an academic sign-off from their prep school years. You may know of other prep schools and a large number of senior schools (in whom I hold in the highest regard) have stepped away from this exam. With respect to them, I just don’t understand it as the best education is not defined by Common Entrance. Although we’ve not heard from every senior school, I would have heard by now if there was a problem and so another year is chalked up with every boy going to an incredible senior school. Our future school list is now playing a major part in helping prospective parents realise that we offer what we say we offer: excellence in education in the form of an all-rounder experience…along with a subtle sub-note that us insiders value enormously, namely we like a twinkle in their eye!

 

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