One of our aims this year has been to maintain APS as a stable haven of relative calm in an increasingly excitable world. My mantra continues to be that we are the adults and must act as such. We know this will be okay in the end and must ensure we do not pass anxiety onto our children. Thank you to all those families who continue to send in their children and support them in their work. It has been disappointing when we have needed to isolate students or classes but we keep this to a minimum, as the best place for children is in school. Our attendance remains at over 90% which, for the middle of a pandemic during a second lockdown, isn’t too bad.
In our quest to provide normality for students, it was nice to see many of our usual annual routines taking place. Just two of these are mentioned below.
We started commemorating Remembrance Day at the school in 2012 but on that occasion, marked it with just the one minute silence. It was questioned whether our students would respect this silence, but of course they did. The following year, the Music Department requested we add The Last Post. Unfortunately we did not have any trumpeters up to this task and so it was suggested that it could be played on a trombone. This idea was quickly quashed by me and we had to settled for a tuber! This year, four separate trumpeters performed The Last Post across the school, in what has become a poignant moment of annual reflection.
It is also seemingly routine for one of our staff to be recognised on the national stage. This is hardly surprising when I consider the brilliant staff body APS employs. This year, our very own Henry Hammond has achieved The Institute of Physics’ Teacher Award. This follows on the heels of our previous National Teacher Awards for Chemistry, Maths and Music. It’s becoming a habit.
Henry is a tour de force, both inside and out of the classroom. He joined the school as our only Physics teacher in 2012 - quickly becoming Head of physics! He moved from this post to outreach work in 2015. He left behind a thriving department which now boasts six physics teachers and more than 100 students studying A level physics. Henry has since dedicated his time to developing and expanding physics and science teaching in primary and secondary schools across North London, literally from Barnet to Barking. This National Award is a well-deserved accolade.