Headmaster’s Newsletter – 4 September 2020

Dear Parents,

We have been delighted this week to welcome everyone back to school.  Now the buildings are buzzing with children excited to be back with their friends and our tutors are enjoying hearing so many stories about the children’s exploits in the last few months.  Once again school is alive and vibrant with youthful joie de vivre ­– as it should be.  

With the current restrictions some of our activities have had to be adjusted.  Where outside games facilities (in particular swimming baths) are not yet fully open we are offering alternative sports. You will have received a letter from Mr Hastings earlier today outlining the sporting programme for the year ahead. For the next few weeks there will be no Wednesday Assemblies as St Columba’s is not yet available but by October we will have another plan in operation so that this special part of the Hill House experience continues.  Friday Clubs will begin as soon as possible when all venues become available.  Music and Drama showcases will begin with a full programme after Half Term and we are planning a virtual Art exhibition.  Alas, due to the current travel restrictions, the Sixth Form Geography courses in Glion will have to be postponed to a later date.  Further details will be sent to all those enlisted.

As you would expect we have spent a great deal of time and effort to make the school as safe an environment as we possibly can. We have instituted many new systems around the school buildings, on the school buses and at the various sports facilities we use. We need your help to maintain the safety of the school too. When dropping off in the morning and collecting in the afternoon it is vital that you practice social distancing. We hope all parents will lead by example. 

At Cadogan Gardens please queue for the correct door spaced out along the pavement in the appropriate direction. As soon as you have either dropped off or collected please move away to the other side of the road. Mrs Novelli will be patrolling!

To help with arrival and collection at Hans Place the Royal Borough have agreed to a plan, which allows us to close Hans Street outside our buildings to all traffic from 8.00am-9.00am and 4.00pm-6.00pm every day.  This means parents will be able to stand in the road safely while waiting for their children.  Here is the message from the Council:

Kensington & Chelsea Council have approved a trial School Street closure on Hans StreetThis exciting development will allow more pupils to travel safely to and from school by foot, bike and scooter, while providing more space for physical distancing and creating a cleaner, more pleasant local environment for everyone. Motor traffic, except those with permits will not be allowed to enter the School StreetThis is a trial initiative during which residents and local stakeholders will be able to give their views on the initiative to the Council while the trial lasts, which will be for a minimum of six months and a maximum of eighteen months. After this trial period the Council will assess whether the School Street can be made permanent or not.

Parents travelling by car will need to drive around Hans Place and take the entrances and exits into Pont Street, Herbert Crescent or Hans Road.  If you use Pavilion Road you will only be able to exit via Sloane Street. There will be no entry from Sloane Street.

Monday is MUSIC DAY when all our music tutors will be here demonstrating their instruments to every pupil in Cadogan Gardens and Hans Place.  Everyone will bring home a music form so that you can make a choice of instrument and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities we offer.  Don’t delay, return it quickly and lessons will begin the following week!  We have a team of eighteen specialist tutors offering tuition in Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello, Classical Guitar and Piano.  Timetables are arranged so that no academic or sport lessons are missed for music lessons.  The school provides all instruments except guitars and pianos without hire charge.

Tomorrow, Saturday 5 September, there will be a Secondhand Uniform Sale in Founders’ Hall. 10.00am – 1.00pm. We will need to strictly limit the number of people in the Hall at one time and the wearing of face covering will be compulsory for anyone aged over 11. This will be the only sale until Half Term as we are unable to run our regular sales in Cadogan Gardens for the time being. 

Welcome back. It is wonderful to have the school alive once again. The happy smiles of those going home this afternoon was tremendous to see.  Hill House is flourishing.

Best wishes,

Richard Townend