This week is a short one, we all get a three-day weekend to celebrate mid-autumn festival. It will be an opportunity for me to review this year’s back-to-school , which hasn’t exactly been a restful one!

It is not my intention to turn this letter into a weekly whine, but that said, I am all-too aware that this year’s back-to-school hasn’t been an easy one for many of our families, and that TES has not always responded adequately to questions, queries, requests and concerns from our parents.

So, I would like to make a simple wish: that over the long weekend FS parents talk to their kids about school, about their teachers and about what and how they are learning. Because although mistakes have been made this year, it would be an even greater mistake to allow them blind us to the quality of the work our teachers and learning assistants are doing in their classrooms. After all, they have had absolutely nothing to do with the administrative mistakes that have been made over the past 4 weeks.

The teaching team have had to go the extra mile recently to compensate for gaps in information, and communication; for this I would like to thank them for their patience and their generosity. They are utterly excellent at their job and, despite the wobbly start to the year with parents’ patience being well and truly tested, our teachers have been nothing but purely professional and confidence inspiring. I am certain that those of you who attended the back-to-school parent information evenings understand exactly what I mean. We are extremely fortunate to have such a committed and passionate set of educators at our school.

And of course there are the secretaries, who have found themselves flooded with extra work as they have endeavoured to find answers and solutions to the issues with the ECAs and the buses. They are the ones who keep things running smoothly at the best of times, but these past four weeks they have outdone themselves in their assistance to our teachers and families, and in their devotion (and I am not using that word lightly) to our school. It is really thanks to them that we have kept afloat. I know that many of you have already reached out to the secretaries to express your gratitude for everything they have done recently, and I would like to thank you for having taken the time to do so.

This long weekend will not erase all the administrative complications we have faced this past month – that would be too much to wish for! But I fully intend to come back on Monday and to return to what we do well: extraordinary teaching, excellent exam results year in year out and a tight teaching team that strives for the well-being and academic success of each and every student – objective hard facts that allow us to affirm the “added value” of our school (to use a term employed by the French Ministry of Education – more about that coming soon).

The French Section is all of those great things and I will continue to fight to ensure our qualities are recognised, understood and shared – even at times when one could be forgiven for forgetting about them – what with all of the mistakes and slip ups that have plagued us this past month!

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