'Resilient, bright and talented' - how a Harborough headteacher has described his staff, pupils and their parents during this tough time

Youngsters have adapted to the changes and parents have been facing the challenge of homeschooling and working at the same time

The head of a Market Harborough secondary school is giving his students, staff and parents a massive pat on the back days after the third national Covid lockdown was imposed.

Dan Cleary, the principal of Robert Smyth Academy on Burnmill Road, said the entire 1,000-pupil school community had responded “brilliantly” as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pose tough new challenges.

“We have had a huge buzz at our school this week.

Dan Cleary, principal of Robert Smyth Academy

“We are very disappointed that we haven’t been able to fully reopen as we had hoped to do.

“But there’s been an amazing correspondence between our teachers and students taking part in live lessons online,” Dan told the Harborough Mail.

“All of our students are tuning in for lessons three times a day.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to all our staff for a start.

“They are so resilient, bright, talented, so adaptable – they are absolutely brilliant.

“We couldn’t have better teachers.

“Our students have also fully bought into this.

“They are so keen to get behind this new effort all the way and they have got off to an excellent start.

“And crucially, I also want to say a special word for the parents of our kids as well,” said Dan.

“They have supported us all the way through this from the first lockdown last March and have been so eager to set up live contact with our teachers.

“We have an amazing school community here full stop – our school is totally unbreakable, even as we battle this ongoing Covid crisis.

“I’m delighted with the huge numbers of students who are tuning in for our live lessons and with just how well they have gone.

“It’s been an unprecedented success.

“Our parents, staff and students should all be very proud of themselves.”

Dan said they are now waiting for further clarification regarding grading after the Government cancelled pivotal GCSE and A-level exams again this summer.

“This is another unexpected twist.

“But we are well prepared for it and it’s very important that students continue to focus and to learn day in day out for the sake of their routines, their mental health and their futures,” he insisted.