During the rollercoaster ride of this term, pupils, parents and staff have been catapulted into a virtual teaching and learning environment, not quite knowing where the next twist or turn was going to take us! We thought it would be fun to use this penultimate Round Up to feature some of our community’s most memorable moments. These range from a tale of unbelievable resilience to projects that particularly inspired the pupils, fantastic pieces of work, crazy tutor group times, events that did and didn’t happen and homemade videos that have brought us all plenty of cheer.
Whilst we are focusing on the positives here, these have been very difficult months for so many and despite all the achievements of our amazing Learning from Home programme, we would, of course, much rather have spent the term together.
A tale of resilience
As the holidays began, one of our 2nd From pupils, Tim, set off home to China. After a long flight he arrived at Huangjin airport and was sent to a hotel to begin his quarantine. However, the next day he became ill and so went straight to a hospital, where he describes the conditions as very challenging; they included a lack of Wi-Fi and loo roll, poor food and drink, and an extremely uncomfortable bed!
Amazingly, despite the difficulties, Tim maintained his efforts to keep his spirits up and even managed to tackle his schoolwork. When he recovered, he was sent back to the hotel for another 14 days and he was relieved to find the conditions here were a huge improvement. Throughout his stay at the hotel, Tim could be seen in Teams meetings, interacting with the rest of his class and regularly sending in fantastic work.
Finally, after the quarantine was up, he took a train back home to Chendu. Tim is now happily back with his family, with the memory of an adventure that not only he, but also none of us at the Prep School, will ever forget.
In this topsy turvy world, one of our best moments was a celebration of something that didn’t happen. Last term 10 pupils took part in the qualifying rounds of the IAPS National Swimming Championships and following confirmation of their times, Chloe won a place in the Under 12 Butterfly finals and Rory in the Under 13 Freestyle finals. The Under 12 girls medley relay team also won a place in their finals, due to be held this month at the London Aquatic Centre. They may not have been able to race but everyone at our staff meeting felt pride at their achievement in qualifying.
Something that did go ahead was the Scotland wide ‘Times Tables Rockstars Scotland Rocks Competition’, keenly fought over four days. We were delighted that Fettes Prep was placed first overall on whole school questions answered. Adam achieved second place and Cosmo third from the thousands of entries. One of our S Form classes, SB also came second in the group class awards. The competition was enjoyed by all of our entrants and it provided some fun sibling rivalry in a fair few Fettes homes!
Awards and Certificates
We’ve added up some numbers, which you can see in the attached pyramid diagram, representing all the certificates that have been won following an avalanche of red stars this term. The totals have been so large that we’ve had to add an entirely new tier, the Rainbow Certificate, to celebrate pupils that have been simply outstanding. So far, we have awarded three of these.
Tutor time fun
During this term’s Tutor Time we’ve had team quizzes; chats; virtual scavenger hunts; exhortations to work and to take time off; we talked through worries and shared excellent work; we’ve displayed our favourite hats; our taste in socks, and shared delicious breakfasts and yummy cakes. Mrs Fletcher and Mrs Milburn’s memorable moment came when they found themselves hosting tutor meetings that included two cats, a dog, a guinea pig, a fish and a horse! Pets have made regular appearances in many meetings and have been a huge comfort to the pupils who have said how much they’ve enjoyed spending time with them.
Getting Prep age pupils to complete a day’s schooling from home is no mean feat! It takes plenty of parental and school support, but also demands a level of self-discipline and the ability to learn independently. We’ve attached just some of the memorable work which has delighted our teaching staff and demonstrated the pupils’ ability to give of their best, whatever the circumstances.
Project work has given Prep pupils the chance to research new and exciting topics in depth. Examples include mask and model making; scale drawings of dream homes; Eco-modelling; poster making; set design; reaction pieces and creative fun with programmes like Tinkercad. All of these and many more have fuelled their imaginations and given them the freedom to explore their creativity.
What our pupils will remember about their new routine
We asked our pupils for their reflections, which have followed similar themes. They have loved being with their families and pets, wearing home clothes, eating when they like and lying in when they feel tired. They’ve enjoyed performing concerts in their slippers, seeing each other’s lack of haircuts and improving or learning skills.
Whilst everyone has missed their friends, some have said that they have benefitted from fewer distractions and now feel more confident with independent learning.
Their most memorable moments of the Summer Term so far have been:
“I have enjoyed learning new things about technology.”
"Still getting to see my friends socially distanced in a park and on FaceTime."
"My best bit has been achieving so many red stars and excellent slips!"
“Playing outside with my family. Now that we don't have games, I use that time to play with my family which we all enjoy.”
“My best memory has been learning online with the team and Miss Stanley's challenges. Also, being at home in my garden with my dog. “
And here’s what they have missed:
"Being around other people is the thing I miss most about school."
"The thing I missed most about being away from school is surely friends but also teachers teaching and helping you understand things when you are confused."