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Please enjoy Rachael Warwick's end of term message to RET families

Posted on: 15/07/2022

Dear Families

As we approach the end of another school year the mercury is soaring and we should remind ourselves how much we craved this sunshine back in the bleak winter months...

This is a time of the school year for gratitude. I will write cards of thanks to the staff who are leaving us for pastures new, recognising the unique contribution they have made to our schools and the impact they have made on so many young lives. It’s human nature to look to beginnings but it‘s just as important to recognise endings and to support people to end well.  I read recently that there is a saying in rugby that if you pick someone up in a tackle it’s your responsibility to put them down safely. When we appoint someone, develop them or work with them, it’s our responsibility to treat our colleagues, and manage these transitions, with care and to embrace the opportunity to share thanks and for celebration. Similarly, I know that students will have taken the opportunity to thank the many teachers and support staff who have worked so hard for them this year.  This is about far more than good manners, it speaks to character. One of the ‘Thought for the Term’ contributions this year which has stayed in my mind was written by boys from St Birinus School who explained that, to them, good manners were fundamentally about inclusion, welcoming others and thinking of others before themselves. This is a lovely interpretation of what being an inclusive community means in practice.

This year has not been without disruption, but it is heartening to see that many of the aspects of life which we have missed in schools during the pandemic are up and running with real gusto: clubs, trips and residentials; music concerts, art shows, drama and dance productions; sports fixtures, theatre trips and awards evenings. Thank you to all the staff who go above and beyond to provide these opportunities. Thank you to the children and young people who participate, work hard and simply get involved with all of the opportunities that school life creates for them. Having just returned from the RET Music Concert, I can say with real certainty that this is where the joy of school life is found.

Next year, we will continue to develop our student leadership of Trust-wide priorities such as climate and sustainability, equality, diversity and inclusion, and our digital strategy. Innovation and reinvention is at the heart of a vibrant and forward-looking culture and our schools are nothing if not restless! If you’re not sure what benefit your child derives from their school being a member of Ridgeway Education Trust, then it’s worth reflecting on everything that has been shared with you through the school newsletters over the year. It’s entirely the result of the collaboration and co-operation across our three schools that we are able to offer such a rich array of extra-curricular and leadership opportunities and a broad and deep curriculum offer taught by subject specialists.

A final thanks to the Headteachers of our schools, Miss Littler, Mrs Hornsey and Mr Manning and to Mr Cross, Director of Didcot Sixth Form. The last two and a half years have been the toughest in my thirty years’ experience in schools, and for none more so than them. They have shown huge resilience, commitment and an absolute determination that children and young people should miss out on as little as possible. Their leadership has shone. I am hugely grateful to work with them and hope that they know how much they are appreciated by all of us.

Wishing you a safe, happy and restful summer break.

Rachael Warwick

CEO & Executive Headteacher of Ridgeway Education Trust

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