We will be joining with the rest of the UK in holding a 1 minute silence at 11am in memory of those who tragically lost their lives in the recent Manchester bombing. A bell will ring at 11am where we ask that all staff and students stop where they are and reflect in silence for 1 minute. A bell will ring to the end the silence. We are not calling all of us together in a designated area, just to stop and reflect wherever you are exactly as we did when we marked the Paris attacks.
23 May 2017
Most of us this morning will have woken with shock to the disturbing news of an incident at a concert in Manchester last night involving many young people. For many this will be grave and potentially upsetting news. It is too early at this stage for the College to take any definitive action in response, however there is an acknowledgement that the venue and age of the victims and casualties will have real resonance for our students and families.
Our thoughts this morning are primarily with those who have been affected directly by the incident, those who have lost family, are injured or missing.
Tutors will be able to support students to discuss events if they wish to this morning as part of understanding events. We will work to ensure that this and any more formal response from the College later in the week will focus on denying any language of division or intention to unsettle, concentrating instead on the considerable power of compassion and community.
We are aware that over the last week some students have chosen to bring into College items commonly known as “Fidget-Spinners”. Whilst we recognise that for a very small number of students these may have benefits, they are not the only source of stress-relieving aid available and for many students they are simply not necessary at all. Therefore there are only very few cases for a student to have reason to bring them into school, under no circumstances should they brought in as a toy or for entertainment.
The position of the school at the moment is a reflection of the trust and mutual respect that we share with our students. We are clear that they have no place in lessons, they are a distraction to others, and can prevent learning and concentration. Therefore spinners should not be seen in class or any other school spaces within the building, if they are seen they will be taken and returned at the end of the day.
This does not represent at this stage a blanket ban of the items, we choose to place our trust in the students to be able to implement this responsibly. If students are not able to respect this position and comply with the expectation above then we would have no choice but to adopt a more authoritarian approach to the spinners, in any school location at any time.
We believe that students at Heathfield are more than capable of showing understanding and respect to each other so that this guidance can be accepted and adopted with immediate effect.