Yesterday’s government decision to delay the easing of restrictions in England for four weeks, unfortunately, means that we have had to take the incredibly difficult decision to cancel our Year 11 Prom, planned for Wednesday 23 June. I’m sure we have all been watching the worrying rise in infections across Lancashire with growing concerns about the safety and viability of this event. We have certainly seen the impact of the local infection rates in our school community with a significant number of positive cases and consequent periods of isolation.
Obviously, all monies paid to school will be refunded but more importantly, we do understand and fully share in the overwhelming disappointment this decision will create for our students and also for us as parents who cherish these moments and memories in the lives of our children as they grow up. I am acutely aware of this as I have a daughter in Year 11 here at Haslingden High School.
Though it is almost academic now, we had already taken the precaution of reserving two further dates at The Dunkenhalgh Hotel in the hope that, if there was a slight delay, we might still be able to hold our prom and celebrate the end of five incredible years with Year 11. Unfortunately, with the announcement of a four-week delay, this takes us beyond the end of term.
The decision to cancel our Prom means that for the last two years we have been unable to formally celebrate leaving school with our Year 11 students. The difference this year, of course, is that the impact has been greater due to us being forced to close the school to students before half-term. We were obviously unable to have our last day assembly together, with our traditional shirt signing and sharing of memories of five fabulous years.
Hopefully, if the COVID situation improves, we will be able to run our Awards Evening celebration in December with a degree of normality. At this celebration event, where students traditionally collect their GCSE Certificates, we will hopefully be able to share our memories, congratulations and best wishes that otherwise we would have done on their last day. Whilst we can’t hope to re-create the excitement and emotion of their final day in school, nor in any way substitute for not being able to attend their Prom, hopefully, it will go some way towards our Year 11 students feeling how incredibly proud of them we all are.
We will make arrangements over the next couple of days to invite Year 11 students into school in a socially distanced fashion, within timed windows, to collect the hoodies they have ordered and will notify you all of how this will work shortly.
All that is left to say really is that we are so sorry that we haven’t been able to give our Class of 2021 the send-off they thoroughly deserve. An amazing group of young people who represent five incredible years in the life of our school, we are so proud of each and every one of them.
Gary Wilson (Head of Upper School)