We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for the Independent Schools of the Year 2021 award for Outstanding Response to Covid-19. This really is testament to our determination to maintain a great sense of togetherness – even when we were apart – to stay connected and to support each other and the wider community. A record number of schools from across the country entered nominations into the 24 award categories run in association with Independent School Parent magazine, and Dr Helen Wright, Chair of the judges, congratulated the shortlisted schools: ‘Well done on the success of your school, and congratulations on the great work that you do!’.
As well as quickly moving to remote teaching, we pivoted many other of aspects of school life so that they could continue remotely, such as the Bridge programme, our Higher Education Undiscovered Subjects lectures, debating and our Ancient World Breakfast Club which moved online and allowed us to introduce speakers from across the world. Our Christmas Stallholders Bazaar and Friday Lunchtime Recital Series both went virtual and students, staff, parents and alumnae competed in our Weekly Wellness Workout challenge. Our Daily Dolphin student newsletter, Weekly Dolphin parent newsletter, virtual quiz nights, video messages. staff Weekly Wellness Bulletin and alumnae newsletters, Christmas and Birthday cards, all helped foster a sense of togetherness and to keep our community connected, ‘Little Ones’ was also launched via Google Meets for staff with small children to share tips and support each other.
In the wider community, we linked up with Certitude, one of London’s leading adult social care providers, to supply PPE to staff in care homes and our 1st XI Hockey Squad ran 3000km in 30 days to raise over £9000 for NHS Charities Together. Students made face masks for the local community, laundry bags for the NHS ‘Rapid Response Appeal’ and volunteered with local community groups to support vulnerable people; one student was featured on the BBC News Report, Corona Kindness. DofE students contributed 3,224 hours of voluntary service to our local community; we collected and donated food to the local Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank, presents for the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal and raised funds for Children in Need. Students supported Ready Tech Go and Battersea Power Station and Wandsworth Council by donating used IT equipment, laptops and tablets for children who didn’t otherwise have access to the internet. Our Head Girl set up Mentor Jr and recruited fellow Sixth Formers to provide a free online mentoring and tutoring service to local primary school pupils. Lower Sixth students set up the online Pulsar Science Magazine for primary school children to support their interest in science and help with their learning.