An article by Mrs Elkins, Headteacher
This week has been something of a momentous week for Mrs Howe and me, as we reached the end of a period of secondment in the positions of Acting Deputy Head and Headteacher and we have now gone through the process of recruitment to permanent roles.
So... I am writing for the first time as Gretton’s “official” Headteacher and I am truly delighted. I would like to start by thanking all of you (this isn't going to be my “Oscar acceptance speech” - I promise!):
For being so understanding of the school’s sometimes difficult position during this period of slowly re-opening.
For recognising and understanding the multiple layers of decision-making that have taken place to ensure we are keeping all of your children safe.
For supporting us to encourage your children to maintain social distancing and keep washing their hands.
For keeping the remote learning going at home - all the home heroes!
For sending such lovely messages of encouragement, pictures and emails to support the staff and show off all the lovely work going on at home.
We had really hoped that, by now, the government's easing of the lockdown would be taking some more shape and we would be starting to think about opening for more learners, but that picture has been once again put on hold to maintain levels of safety, so there are no more plans to share with you at present for increasing the offer to other year groups. The school, with just fewer than half of the children, feels calm and purposeful, but we do miss you all and look forward to the day that things become a little more 'normal' again. In the meantime, change continues and plans for September are well underway and with this in mind, we are delighted to share some news with you about a new addition to Gretton School... During the very difficult economic climate created by this terrible virus, we have all seen many businesses and schools struggling and one such place was the Cambridge Academy of English in Girton. This school made the very difficult decision to close its doors permanently during lockdown and they were seeking a buyer for their premises. We are therefore delighted to inform you that Gretton School is now the very proud owner of a new second site, within the village of Girton (approximately 4 minutes’ walk from the current site). The site - known as ‘The Rectory’ - is exactly that; a very beautiful Georgian Rectory with some on-site new buildings; and this wonderful place represents an extremely exciting new chapter in the story of our school. Although the site itself is the next focus of our Project Managers, once they have completed the buildings for DT, Art and Science on the current site, we are hoping that the new buildings on The Rectory site will be ready for use by September and it is our intention that this beautiful place will therefore provide the new setting for our Key Stage 4 and 5 learners (Years 10 upwards) for the coming academic year. There have been so many changes and so much to process for all of our students over the last few months, but we are hoping that this news will - whilst representing yet another change - also create a sense of excitement for our older learners, who will be ‘moving up’ to a very lovely site of their own. There will, of course, be administrative issues around the management of timetables between the two sites and we will be keeping you informed throughout of the plans and how these will impact on the day-to-day. We will also be doing some work with learners to introduce them to the site - although this will come with its own set of challenges in the current CV-19 climate! What we hope is that, with careful planning, students will have support to transition to the new site and create a new extension of Gretton - with all the same provisions, staffing, therapies, support and ‘sense’ of Gretton - but with scope to develop provision in the future. We are thinking carefully about vocational programmes and what these older students will need for the future, but we will also be concentrating on Forest School ranger and mentoring opportunities, which will continue on the Gretton site. There is much to do! But, luckily, we don’t mind being busy at Gretton and we are all really excited about the growth and opportunity this new stage will bring. We will be keeping you informed through our newsletters and 'News' on the website on an ongoing basis, so keep your eyes peeled!