This past academic year was meant to see us all celebrating 21 years since the school’s opening. Alexandra Park School was coming of age. In the Spring of 2020 we were busy forward planning a series of events to run through 2020/21, acknowledging this important milestone. Oh how things can change. March 20th 2020 and the first lockdown came along and the rest is history….
APS opened on 9.9.99 but it was a different kind of emergency we faced rather than a hoped for year-long celebration.
It has been an interesting year. I thank all the families who understood this and worked with the school through the many challenges faced. On reflection, if I had to write our own school report, I think we did okay. Some things the school excelled at, other skills we had to learn very, very quickly.
There has been much to celebrate this year – and this summer newsletter showcases much of the work that continues apace at APS.
Although some students were affected far more than others we managed to keep in school attendance (for those that were allowed to come in) at 94.5%. Physical in class learning was switched to online learning for the entire months of January and February but with the exception of theses last 4 days of term we have been open throughout this year, and due to early testing in March we did manage to squeeze in a few extra days before many other schools officially opened. The last few months have seen the return of Music, Acting and Sports across the school and all students were once again able to study subjects in specialist rooms.
Year 11 and Year 13 undertook a range of assessments in May/June to demonstrate their learning. We have passed the Exam Board quality assurance process, of course, and results will be available in early August.
Alongside teaching and Covid, we have also ploughed ahead with three major building improvement projects.
The STEM Centre of Excellence is now complete and adds almost 1,000m2 to our school. The build was always about adding quality space to our school for the existing students. The new laboratories and training suite delivered are beautiful spaces tin which to learn.
We are presently in the middle of a three month project to upgrade the boilers and heating system in the 1950s block. This is Phase 3 of a scheme planned in 2017 to improve the learning environment and lower our carbon footprint. Phase 1 (2017) involved the installation of triple glazing. Phase 2 (2019) saw a new insulated roof across the entire building. This final phase is replacing the entire heating system. This will improve classroom environments and reduce energy use.
Finally, the summer holidays will see the construction of a brand new bespoke reception and services area. From September visitors will be welcomed into a separate area rather than sharing the space with the main thoroughfare between the canteen, the students’ toilets and the main assembly hall.
We have not allowed an global pandemic to distract from our mission of creating the very best school and very best experiences for our students.
We are not out of this situation yet. The Autumn term will bring its own challenges but we are battle hardened, committed, and most importantly we care. We want the very best for each child and will continue to do all we can to ensure this.
Whatever you decide to do this summer I wish all our families the very best and I look forward to welcoming everyone back safe and well in the Autumn.