A Review of the Autumn Term
In our latest blog, we look back with Mrs Stringer, Mrs Griffiths, Mrs Steele and Mr Giles on the past term which has been unlike any other previously seen at Stratford Girl’s Grammar School.
We start every school year with renewed energy and a sense of excitement. This year was greeted with eager anticipation by both staff and students but at the same time, it was also a little daunting for everyone. Some students were in school for the first time in six months due to lockdown and we were also welcoming new Year groups without ever having met them face-to-face. But as always, our students have stepped up to the mark and have been endlessly positive and dedicated, representing everything that SGGS stands for.
There have been inevitable changes that we have all had to get used to, not least of which are the one-way systems, masks and teachers moving to the year group bubbles to teach. But in the same way much has stayed the same and there has still been laughter, positivity and resilience. All the House Heads are especially proud of our House Captain Team, who have consistently kept up House spirit, working alongside us to encourage and enthuse the students. Since half term, they have been joined by our wonderful Year 11 Prefect Team, who have found innovative ways to foster and support House spirit. It has been a year that we will never forget, there have been ups and downs, but also a remarkable sense of community spirit.
Mrs Stringer, Head of Cygnus House
Every term presents its own challenges and success stories, but this one has certainly been unique! Without a doubt, welcoming the students back to school after several months of delivering virtual lessons was a highlight. Students and staff have adapted brilliantly to the challenges put in place to ensure the safety of our community. One of the main changes for our House system, has been the move to horizontal tutor groups.
Tutors have played a central role in supporting each Year group and keeping them happy and motivated. Keeping spirits high has been challenging at times; pre-recorded assemblies don't allow for much spontaneity! But I can always 're-lion' Orion girls and our amazing House Captains, Kirsty and Eleanor, have shone throughout; their creativity and boundless enthusiasm has been amazing and I am so proud to work with them.
Mrs Griffiths, Head of Orion House
I have been so impressed by the positive and creative way in which students and staff have adapted this Term. It did not take long for us to get into the swing of things and whilst we miss our vertical tutor groups, this has been an interesting experience and we will certainly take the lessons learned with us as things return to 'normal'. Assemblies have been virtual and our House Captains have continued to find ingenious ways to interact with the students in their Houses.
The innovation that I am most proud of are the changes we have made to House Council. Every student in the school has taken part in fortnightly council meetings, sharing their views and concerns. The class representatives, House Captains and Head Girl Team, have worked efficiently to ensure that concerns are shared and feedback is given to every tutor group quickly. Our pupil voice has never been clearer. This is just one example of how we have turned challenges into positives and demonstrated the resilience that makes us a community that everyone is proud to be a part of.
Mrs Steele, Head of Phoenix House
The logistics of keeping our school community safe while also delivering quality teaching, learning and pastoral care has been a unique challenge. Fewer House events and horizontal tutor groups has an impact on House spirit, but having said that, I have been amazed and delighted by the creativity, resilience and teamwork shown by the 'Bears' in Ursa House. In some ways it has brought the students closer together and my amazing House Captains (Katherine and Holly) along with the other House Captains have surpassed themselves - who'd have thought TikTok could be put to good use!
It is certainly a strange sensation to deliver an assembly via a pre-recorded video and hear your own voice coming out of every classroom down the corridor! The tutors have been wonderful, working with the students to keep them safe, focused and happy. Without doubt, the highlight of everyone's week is the Friday House Quiz. Ten tricky questions set by the House Captains for each tutor group. Dare I say that at time of writing, Ursa are ahead. Go Bears!
Mr Giles, Head of Ursa House