As the Headmistress of a school I feel it is absolutely vital for our students to live life to the full, to experience, to explore, to learn and to fail and this means we will have to weigh up the risks. Three weeks into term, with cases of Covid in schools across the city, I see that this year will continue to challenge as we tread the fine line between risk management and offering a rich and diverse learning experience and childhood.
Running trips versus staying in school, putting on clubs and mixing year-groups, moving our Clubs Fair and choirs outside at short notice and holding our Open Day online as a virtual event are all examples of this. Translating the black and white spirit of Government guidance into the complex kaleidoscope of school life was never going to be easy and the balance has been a delicate one. There will be many more obstacles ahead of us and I know that our community will rise to the challenges ahead.
I hope that many of you managed to log into the Sustainable Fashion Conference and the Politics Conference. I am starting to think that someone at OHS has great connections in high places as I couldn’t believe the coincidental timing of the Fashion conference launching just after Oxfam declared September Sustainable Fashion Month, and then the Political Conference on US and UK foreign policy after the AUKUS announcement. Timely and part of our aim to ensure that all our pupils at Oxford High have the opportunity to explore beyond the curriculum.
Oxford High is a place where our students believe passionately in social justice and raising their voices in support of causes they care about. This week is our Sustainable week echoing the City event and pupils were encouraged to march in favour of halting climate change and they have had opportunities to make clear why they are so invested and involved. We have an orchard, solar panels, bees, designs on refining our waste systems in the dining room, and raising the profile of sustainability across the school.
And if you ever had any doubts about the joy of the individual at OHS our Clubs Fair was extraordinary. With clubs ranging from robotics, headed by a student who was controlling a robot carrying a biscuit to prospective joiners, as well as the loud discussions at Book Club, every pupil is asked to sign up to at least two new activities per week – and to stick with them. Back to the tenacity and discipline which underpins intellectual and critical curiosity at the heart of our school, and, as ever, the joy of childhood and living their lives to the full.
I wish you all a restful weekend.
With warm wishes,
Marina Gardiner Legge