Dear Parents & Carers,
I am writing to you in the most remarkable of times. I sincerely hope that you and your families are safe and well. Like me, you will no doubt be looking forward to having a more restful summer. Please note that a separate detailed letter regarding how the school will be opening in September will be sent to you on Monday 20th July.
I know that everyone will have experienced the last four months in different circumstances and with different pressures, highs and lows. It really is humbling to be part of a profession and community that has given so much. I would like to reflect on the last few months for a moment because I think that the school values of courage, pride, resilience, kindness, trust and cheerfulness, that are the foundations of our school community, have been demonstrated in abundance by so many people.
In adversity and changing times good people really do step up. There are so many students, parents, staff, governors and members of the local community that I could mention for their good deeds, that trying to single out individuals would do more harm than good because there are literally too many to mention and I would inadvertently miss someone out. Put simply you/they have all been courageous and overwhelmingly kind. When we look back at this period in time you will be able to look at yourselves and be proud of what you did to support each other.
I am proud that Devizes School is firmly rooted in the local community, and one that has been so welcoming and supportive. Even more so recently. As we move forward in this uncertain time those established strong links between home and school and that collective sense of community and belonging will be even more important.
Also, as I reflect on my time at Devizes School before I leave at the end of the summer for my new job, it has again reinforced my belief that Devizes School is such a great place because of the people. This is the very reason I joined the school in the first place. In my time here, we have seen some significant developments such as joining the White Horse Federation MAT, creating a collaborative Sixth Form with Lavington School, increasing numbers of students joining the school and students achieving ever improving examination results. But the most rewarding aspect is seeing the school and in particular the people grow and develop; becoming leaders in their own right and taking responsibility for their own futures and progress, and mostly doing it with a smile on their face.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my 4 ½ years at Devizes School. It has been a real highlight of my teaching career. I am very sad to be leaving because I am so emotionally invested in the school. Leaving at a time like this is not ideal but there are more important things to consider and at least this situation provides me with unfinished business and an excellent excuse to return and see people later in the year. My time at Devizes School compared to most staff has been relatively short. Leaving after 19 years incredible service to the school is Mrs Andrew as she seeks to find new challenges (not retiring!). She has made such a positive impact on the lives of so many young people and families. Her relentless positive attitude, caring nature and creativity will be much missed. It is also appropriate to mention the following long serving staff who have left at different points during this year. Rosemary Breach our Finance Officer, Liz Soellner and Vanessa Burdge both working in various key administrative roles, who between them all have dedicated over 70 years of their working lives to Devizes School. Their impact has been enormous. Finally, only having been with us for just a year we also wish Mr Carracosa-Costa from the MFL team, the best of luck in his new school for September.
In such an uncertain time we are all seeking some consistency and stability. Therefore, I want to reassure you that we are making the transition for Julian Morgan the new Principal at Devizes as seamless as possible given the current circumstances. We have already spent much of the last six weeks working together on planning out next term and beyond. I am delighted that Julian is succeeding me as Principal, he is a perfect fit for the school and his ambition and skill will take this fabulous school and its community on the next part of its journey.
I would like to thank all of my fantastic colleagues who are such an incredibly supportive and committed group of professionals; the local community for their support and advocacy of the school; parents for their support of the school and embracing the recent challenge of homeschooling, and finally the truly remarkable students, who I have missed so much over the last four months, yet continue to inspire me, make me smile and remind me why being a Headteacher at Devizes School is the best job in the world. Thank you for allowing me the privilege. I truly hope our paths will cross again and I wish you all a safe and happy summer.
Very best wishes,