Headteacher pays tribute to local community in BBC Radio Derby interview
Thomas Alleyne’s Headteacher has praised the local community for its support during the coronavirus lockdown as pupils begin to adjust to a gradual re-opening.
Despite the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19, Julie Rudge says there have been many acts of kindness and pupils, staff and the wider community have shown resilience, compassion and creativity.
During lockdown, the high school raised £18,000 thanks to generous donations from the local community that provided food parcels and household essentials for vulnerable students as well as more than 50 laptops to support remote learning.
One family donated more than £200 to make sure all students receiving food parcels had an Easter egg added to the box. Another student donated proceeds from his tomato plant sales to support the fund, acknowledging the needs of his community above his own.
Meanwhile, the school played its part by supporting the NHS and rallying to the call for more personal protective equipment. The school’s design and technology team created 3,500 visors for frontline healthcare workers in care homes and hospitals.
Mrs Rudge said: “I am very grateful to the Uttoxeter community for their support as we have learnt new ways of teaching and learning, for their patience and encouragement as we moved our systems online and their generosity in donating to our charitable causes.”
She continued: “Our students are a credit to their families, stepping up to virtual learning, and taking on new jobs and opportunities to volunteer and support their families.
“My sincere thanks also goes to our staff who continue to keep school safe, provide food to those in need, have produced visors for care homes and hospitals and led the way in moving to online learning and supported students directly.
“I have been delighted to welcome Year 10 and 12 students back to school and look forward to the wider reopening of schools.”
The school has welcomed some Year 10 and Year 12 pupils back on site, successfully resuming face-to-face teaching after putting new safety measures in place. These include having smaller class groups, two-metre social distancing markers, hand sanitisers, stepped up cleaning regimes and one-way systems.
Thomas Alleyne’s High School is Ofsted graded ‘good’ and part of Uttoxeter Learning Trust.