Returning to normal

As the first half term is coming to a close, we thought that a nice way to sum up our progress during this time would be to look at what people missed before arriving, compared with all the measures we have taken to keep everyone safe whilst trying to return our school life back to normal: 

“I really missed seeing students back on campus and everybody having fun together offline. I love seeing people walking between buildings in breaks and between lessons” 

– Maggie  

“What have I missed most about Concord? Definitely not Saturday tests and UCAS applications! But other than that, seeing my friends again is definitely an upside, and I’m looking forward to actually meeting people from other year groups – it still seems illegal…” 

– Shaz  

“Joining Concord in Form 4, I have missed greatly the many trips that we had to Birmingham along with my friends. I look forward to being able to do that again this following term.” 

– Chester 

“The things I miss the most are the big trees, the students and my colleagues… (That’s pretty much everything really!) I look forward to meeting all my new classes and helping young people learn more about our incredible world.” 

– Mr Cale  

A wonderful thing about these little interviews is that we can proudly say that all of these goals have been achieved.  

We have finally been able to interact with one another without the worries of the virus. To keep everyone safe, we wear masks in public spaces, maintain good hand hygiene and we socially distance when necessary.  

This group effort to help keep the community safe has always been appreciated at Concord but I think this is now more apparent than ever. And so, we were able to return back to blissful normality.  

Ecaterina – 6.2

Induction Week 2019-2020

Arriving at Concord for the first time can be a daunting experience to say the least. Meeting new people in a foreign environment, hearing new languages, being away from home, and all with your first Saturday tests on the horizon can be enough to make you wish you were at home in your bed.  Having experienced this myself just over a year ago, I found myself feeling strangely nostalgic as the other prefects and I greeted the new students arriving at Main Hall on the 4th of September this year.

Just as in the years before, the 2019-2020 prefect team spearheaded the student body’s welcoming efforts. Besides the school-organised activities and events to try and help the new 6.1s settle in and feel at home, the prefects organised the annual ‘induction games’ in the Sports Hall on the nights of the 4th and the 5th, which were meant to be “ice-breaking” and team building exercises, so as to help the new cohort bond as quickly as possible.

Besides the meticulously planned games and activities that the prefects oversaw, there were also the Concord traditions of the dance and the “high five circle”. The former is a dance that the prefects create in the days prior, and subsequently teach to the new students as a means of bonding and having a bit of fun. The latter is a more congratulatory activity, where students sit in pairs facing each other around the circumference of the Sports Hall, and each student present would navigate their way between the two rows, while giving everyone else a high five.

For the rest of the time during the week, the 6.1s took care of miscellaneous matters such as setting up bank accounts, settling in to rooms, having medical checkups and so on. All the while, the 6.2 prefects were juggling university application matters and trying to make the new students feel as welcome as possible.

Fast forward to Saturday, and we celebrated our new arrivals with the annual fireworks display, as well as a disco in West End. The week finally concluded with a water balloon fight on the morning of Sunday the 8th. Thankfully we had some sunshine, because getting wet in the morning breeze was chilly enough as it was!

All in all, the feedback about induction week was that it was a resounding success, and that the new students largely felt welcome at Concord. I believe I speak for my fellow prefects when I say that we had an equally enjoyable time with our new schoolmates as well, and that we are all looking forward to the school year ahead of us.

Luke – 6.2