I am writing to you for the final time as Headteacher of Friesland School. When I announced my retirement, early in the Spring Term, I could never have seen Coronavirus and everything associated with it coming. I hope that you are all continuing to stay safe during these ongoing different and challenging times. Can I take this opportunity to thank you for the many e-mails you have sent into school since lockdown began and remote learning started. We have tried hard as a school to keep as much communication as possible going with you and your positive feedback has been very much appreciated. I have always believed that schools only become great when there is close working between parents, students and school as a three-way process. I do believe we have this at Friesland.
I am sad to be leaving school under these unusual circumstances with only a limited number of Year 10 and Year 12 students coming in at present and no full staff days in school. However, there are lots of things I am looking forward to next year and beyond. My retirement is from being a Headteacher and not from education. I started teaching in 1986 and have been in two schools for 34 years – 17 of those years have been at Friesland. During my time at Friesland I have been Director of Post-16, Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher for the last 11 years. It has always been a real privilege to work at and lead this school and I take some great memories with me.
Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to say good-bye to you as a parent body at any public event due to the pandemic. However, I have not quite finished at Friesland yet as I am going to be teaching my Year 12 A level English Language/Literature group through to the end of Year 13 next year so hopefully I will see many of you at some point in the course of next year.
With regards to September, Mr Patterson will be ‘Acting Headteacher’ for the Autumn Term and I know that you will show him the same support that you have shown me. I have worked closely with him for a number of years and he shares the passion I have always had to make Friesland a genuinely outstanding school. He has communicated home recently about the plan for re-opening to all year groups in September and will do so again in August with the full detail. It is worth mentioning now, however, that we will be completely cashless as a school from September. This means it will be important that all parents are signed up for parent pay from September 7th, if there is any issue with that please e-mail enquiries and we will get back to you with a solution. If your child travels on the bus they will need to wear a face covering from September, our advice is that you purchase a re-useable face covering for your child rather than disposable. We will work with the children in September on how to effectively use face masks and will have staff to meet the buses on arrival in the morning and helping the students on in the evenings. As I say, we will share much more detail in August once we have absolute clarity on government guidance and have finalised plans with the bus companies.
Mr Peter Monk – Headteacher