It was quite a moment for students and staff on Monday when the first national, formal exams took place in three years.

It fell to Religious Education to kick start the GCSE programme.

Attendance was fantastic with just one student missing, and we knew the reasons beforehand.

It was great to experience the atmosphere in the exam hall at first hand. A cohort that, through the pandemic, has shown great resilience, thoroughly engaged with their heads down, pens scribbling away and working really hard.

Exams can, sometimes, feel like you have not got enough time to fit everything in.

It’s a little bit like this final term. There are only eight weeks of the academic year left, yet we have so much more to do and look forward to.

Much focus is on rewards and celebrations. There are visits, parents’ evenings, events, welcoming of Year 6 and goodbyes to students who have been with us for five years.

Tonight, it is Year 10 parents’ evening. We have had contact with 80% of parents /carers about their attendance but that still leaves another 20% we need to speak to.

These are really important events for your children, particularly when it gets to Key Stage 4, and it is important parents / carers engage.

They represent wonderful opportunities to meet with staff and understand where your child is and what they need to do.

I have always said a child’s education relies on a three-way partnership between the student, school, and home. Engagement is needed from each to ensure success.

Talking of which, we had a brilliant evening last Thursday when the new prefects and senior prefects (above) were formally introduced and the head prefects named.

There have only been 28 head prefects out of 1,960 students who have attended since the positions were created. This is quite an achievement and my congratulations to Emily Browne and Janis Lasmanis who came through a rigorous selection process.

Straight after half term, Year 10 go into their two weeks of work experience, with events thrown into the mix too.

In the second week, it is Year 7 camp. All have been given the opportunity to experience something different with friends and staff at Sunflower Park in Laughton, Gainsborough. It is not too late to sign up.

It is all part of the well-balanced calendar year we strive for, the subject of discussions with staff over the coming days and weeks. We reflect on what has gone well and what we would like to do differently next year.

There are always ways to improve, individually and as a team. But we always do our best.

I know Year 11 will do likewise in their GCSEs.