Please see the latest bulletin from Mr Solly below...
Dear parents and carers,
Media stories during the past few weeks have rightly focused on a whole year passing since lockdown measures began. At UCC, students, staff and parents have endured a year-long series of challenges and changes to our educational norm. Throughout this time we have had to be flexible, adaptable and responsive, and we have all had to modify the way we live and work. Though it has often been a deeply difficult period I have never felt so proud of how well our students and staff have coped and risen to every challenge faced. Our vocabulary in school changed, with words and phrases being used that we had never encountered before, including; remote learning, critical workers, ‘live’ lessons, close contacts, mass testing, and ‘you’re on mute!’
Looking back on the spring term, it has been a rather unusual one. Throughout January and February, we were confined to our homes and the dark tail-end of winter was accompanied by the somewhat joyless enterprise of remote teaching. Only as we progressed through March were we able to start bringing young people back into school and consequently the last four weeks have been an absolute joy. Your sons and daughters have been truly magnificent and it has been wonderful to hear laughter, enjoyment and a real buzz around the school during this time.
I have been so impressed with how young people have almost seamlessly adapted to the novel circumstances they have experienced, and I have seen resilience, empathy, and kindness demonstrated by UCC students on so many occasions in recent weeks. The unhelpful media narrative of a 'lost generation' has been entirely dispelled by the admirable character I have witnessed from UCC students. There may have been some elements of curriculum content that haven't been covered in the same level of detail that would have happened in normal circumstances, but the skills, qualities and character this generation of young people have developed over this past year should not be underestimated. Our young people need the key adults in their lives to support them in understanding this, and we will be relentlessly positive, optimistic and aspirational for our students as we support them in their development as great human beings.
I hope that with the easing of some lockdown measures, families are able to reconnect with loved ones in person over the Easter break. I would like to wish all our UCC families a very happy Easter. Thank you for your support in the many ways you have provided it throughout the term.
Take care and stay safe
Testing: - we are very grateful for the high levels of students completing the twice weekly Covid tests at home. Schools have been asked to request that students continue to complete these throughout the Easter break and report the results in the normal way.
Informing the school of positive tests: - please email firstname.lastname@example.org if your child tests positive in a Covid test during the Eater break. We are required to complete our internal tracking and tracing of close contacts for 6 days following the end of term, so if a positive test is reported to us, we will inform any close contacts that are identified of their requirement to self-isolate.
Wellbeing award: Mrs Duffy has been working towards the school achieving a Wellbeing Award which will support us in continuing to support young people in a wide variety of ways throughout their education here. This is an essential piece of work for us and is a key element of valuing every young person as an individual, whilst caring for them in a compassionate way. We are asking staff, students and parents to complete a survey as part of this process and the links are below. The deadline is 3pm on Friday 2nd April.