September 2020 - July 2021
The new academic year started on Wednesday 2 September for Years 7 and 12. On Thursday 3 September Year 8 and 9 joined them and finally on Friday 4 September Year 7 and Year 13 started.
There were new rules and the school had a one-way system.
At the start of September there were approximately 990 students in Years 7-13.
Over the summer there was a huge amount of work done around the site. The Sixth form now have a wonderful decking area and outdoor furniture.
Miss Giblin sent this message out to all parents at the start of the new academic year:
We are excited to be back.
Denmark Road has improved, not diminished.
A new section was added to the website:
DRHS September 2020: The Same But Different
This held all the information parents and students required.
- The Year 12 Welcome Evening was held via a virtual meeting and all Excellence Evenings were held via video link using the new Parents Evening software. Year group assemblies are held via video.
- The school held five on-site, socially distanced, open evenings and one open morning meeting the Government guidelines, which included virtual meetings with Miss Giblin.
Year 7 had their first (and perhaps only) trip of the year with a visit to Croft Farm for their bonding trip.
- Honours Evening was presented virtually, via year group assemblies, with successful students receiving their certificates and Honour Badges via their tutor.
- The CEM testing was put back a month from its normal time to 17 October and it was held over a whole day to socially distance all the students.
The country went into National Lockdown 2 from midnight on Wednesday 4 November until Wednesday 2 December. We were told:
1. Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
2. Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
3. Close certain non-essential businesses and venues.
These new measures will reduce the growth rate of the virus, which will:
- prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed
- ensure schools, colleges and universities can stay open
- ensure that as many people as possible can continue to work.
DRHS celebrated Children in Need in November with two year groups out (Year 9 and 11) who were self-isolating due to covid cases in both years. Students and staff raised over £600 by wearing non-uniform.
Sadly no Christmas Carol Concert, Christmas lunch or Christmas Fayre this year.
Students, teachers and staff enjoyed a free lunch due to donations from parents on the last day of term, Thursday 17 December. They enjoyed delicious chicken naan wraps, garlic roast potatoes and a salad for lunch.
Sadly 2021 started with Lockdown 3 which meant that from Tuesday 5 January schools were only open to vulnerable and key worker students (mini DRHS).
On Thursday 21 January a virtual Sixth Form Open Evening was held.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on 27 January that schools in England will not be able to open after the half-term break in February, but could begin to return from 8 March.
On Monday 22 February Boris Johnson announced the roadmap for the lifting of Lockdown 3:
Stage one is in two parts:
All schools and colleges will reopen
University students can return for practical courses. There will be a review by the end of the Easter holidays for all other students
- Face coverings are recommended in class for secondary school students and also for parents and staff in primary schools
- People will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the "rule of six", including in private gardens
- The stay at home rule will end, but the government will urge people to stay local as much as possible
- Outdoor sport facilities will reopen, including golf courses and tennis and basketball courts
- Formally organised outdoor sports can also restart
- Parents and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work
- Weddings attended by up to six people can take place in any circumstances
No earlier than 12 April:
- All shops allowed to open
- Restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors, including alcohol
- Gyms and spas can reopen for individuals and households
- Hairdressers, beauty salons and other "close contact services" can reopen
- UK domestic holidays away from home permitted, with self-contained accommodation able to reopen for use by members of the same household
- Children allowed to attend indoor play activities, with up to 15 parents or guardians allowed to join them
- Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen
- Libraries and community centres can reopen
- Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place.
No earlier than 17 May:
- People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
- Six people or two households can meet indoors
- Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors
- Up to 30 people can meet to celebrate weddings or other life events, like christenings
- Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open
- Indoor entertainment such as museums, theatres, cinemas and children's play areas can open
- Performances and large events will be subject to limits though. For indoor events they can be at half capacity or 1,000 people, and outdoors they can be at half capacity or 4,000 people - whichever is lower. For large venues (at least 40,000 capacity) up to 10,000 will be allowed to attend
- Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen
- International leisure travel will resume no earlier than 17 May
- Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can start up again
No earlier than 21 June:
- All legal limits on social contact will be removed
- No legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events. From April, the government will run pilots for events such as large weddings, festivals and work conferences. This will help to determine how measures such as enhanced testing might allow large groups to attend without social distancing
- Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen
Goodbye Mr Walker!
- On 2 March we said goodbye to Mr John Walker who had been Assistant Site Manager at Denmark Road for 10 years (pictured with Mr Chris Brown, Site Manager (left)).
Back to School
Mass testing, provided by support staff and parent volunteers, began at school w/c 8 March when all students were welcomed back.
International Women's Day
On 8 March DRHS also celebrated International Women's Day:
What will you choose to challenge?
Yesterday we began our return to site. In itself this is a beautiful thing.
How apt that our school, whose purpose is to create empowered individuals ready to move forward with confidence, curiosity, integrity and commitment, returns on International Women’s Day.
The theme for 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge’. A mission commensurate with our own.
The campaign calls for us to choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. To choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
What will Denmark Road choose to challenge to ensure, in line with our vision, each one of us becomes empowered?
What will Denmark Road choose to challenge to ensure we are able to use this to empower others locally, nationally, globally?
We do not shy away from challenge at our school. We embrace it.
From challenge comes change.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer we committed to revising our curriculum and practice. We continue to do so.
This spring our student leaders conducted a survey on bullying. A brave question for any organisation to reflect upon. An essential one.
Whilst some would dismiss the thoughts that bullying exists within their organisation we do not shy away from asking ‘Does it?’ and ‘In what forms?’. And responding with our students to make changes.
We are committed to further developing our provision. To create true inclusivity where all are free to be who they are, feel able to express themselves and are valued for doing so.
As part of our inclusivity and diversity mission, Student Voice will continue to consider why DRHS #choosetochallenge, not only on International Women’s Day, but every day.
Together we will choose to challenge.
Miss Giblin, Headteacher - Denmark Road High School
- On Wednesday 17 March we held our Year 10 Excellence Evening via video calls.
Last day of Mass Testing
On Friday 19 March our testing heroes (support staff and volunteers) finished the mass testing of our students. All students will now self-test at home like staff. Staff in the hall, and students in the M rooms, clapped in appreciation of all their hard work and Miss Giblin said a few words of thanks.
Tuesday 23 March - National Day of Reflection
Today marks a year since the first lockdown.
Year 13s singing 'Do not stand at my grave and weep'.
On Monday 5 April Boris Johnson announced that Stage 2 of the easing of lockdown could go ahead from 12 May.