Dear Friends of Stoke College,
As the month of September draws to a close, I would just like to share some highlights of our first few weeks back at school.
There is a real sense of excitement with the small but significant changes that are making a real difference to our students’ lives. The delicious food under the new catering manager, the shiny new toilets, the senior students’ common room, the success of the ‘bring your own device’ policy, some very exciting discussions about teaching and learning strategies, and the extended programme of activities over lunch and after school – all of these are having a very positive impact on the school community.
Add to that the excitement of the announcements of leadership positions for our senior students, along with the cast for our whole-school musical production of ‘Guys and Dolls’, made all the more joyful owing to the beautiful weather which we have been enjoying, and you can understand why Stoke College is such a happy community! Many congratulations to all our senior student leaders and cast; we wish you every success.
With Year 9 parents’ evening on Wednesday 30th September, our virtual prize giving on Friday 2nd October, and our Open Morning Tour (socially distanced!) on Saturday 10th October, there is much preparation taking place. There has been talk in the media about a national lockdown to coincide with an extended half-term. Should this occur, lessons will be delivered online and in keeping with the timetable. And do, please, try and support our Open Morning by introducing friends, family and colleagues to the idea of visiting us that day.
Finally, Thursday 1st October marks the start of the Chinese Moon Festival, one of the most important festivals in Chinese culture. I share this as just one example of how we share so many cultural aspects with communities beyond our shores, for the Moon Festival is the equivalent of our Harvest Festival. Just as in the UK, Chinese tradition respects the importance of a successful harvest, a matter close to the heart of many people here in Suffolk. The exchange of ‘mooncake’ is as important as turkey at Thanksgiving or at Christmas, so we say to our Chinese colleagues and students: Zhu nin zai zhonqiu kie kuailie kuailie! (Wishing you happiness and fun at the Moon Festival!).
Very best wishes,
Dr Gareth Lloyd