Each September sees a new cohort of students make the somewhat daunting move from primary to secondary school, but this year has brought added complexities due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, this hasn’t stopped the 115 new recruits joining Rye College this academic year from hitting the ground running – supported by a staff body pleased to be returning to relative normality.
The largest cohort to join the academy in recent years benefitted from a government-backed summer school run by the college enabling two-thirds of the year group to enjoy additional literacy and numeracy, outdoor activities and a day-trip to Port Lympne Safari Park together. Not only did this support the youngsters with their learning after the challenges of the previous academic year but allow them to make crucial friendships ahead of the September start.
Whilst the final step of the roadmap has meant students return to a school that feels different to before the summer, everyone is clear that they cannot be complacent about coronavirus. Over the first two days three out of every five students participated in lateral flow testing with others opting to test at home as part of a regular home-testing habit.
Having said that, lateral flow tests are not the only measure in place to keep the community safe: young people and adults are still engaged with regular hand washing, thorough ventilation, enhanced cleaning and adherence to well-established routines to manage the small number of cases.
Head of School, Mr Dom Downes, said:
“Once again our young people are demonstrating great resilience in the way they have returned to school. Having so many new students participate in our summer school has helped them to settle quickly into secondary school life. Inspired by the academic performance of the departing cohort, older learners have returned more confident to a learning environment they are more familiar with. Our students’ determination to succeed despite recent challenges gives us all great hope for the forthcoming year with the college continuing to go from strength-to-strength.”
Image Credits: Rye College .