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Supporting Our Community

At St John’s we talk often about the strength of our community and never has this strength been more apparent than in recent weeks as our pupils, staff, parents and friends have adapted to the challenges we are now facing.

In parallel with the extensive work our staff are undertaking to deliver engaging virtual lessons and meaningful pastoral care to our pupils, we are also seeking creative and practical ways to support our wider community and, in particular, the NHS.

At the end of March, we donated 250 pairs of high quality goggles to the NHS, along with a significant supply of disposable gloves, and our Head of Design and Engineering is talking to industry contacts to explore the potential of using injection-moulding to manufacture significant quantities of facemasks and shields.

In recent days, it has been announced that plans are underway to re-open the former military rehabilitation centre, Headley Court, as a community hospital for those recovering from COVID-19.  We are now talking with the local NHS Trust to establish ways in which we can support this project with practical assistance and access to our facilities.  Our proximity to Headley Court means that we hope to help through the provision of accommodation, transport, catering and care for key workers, and we will act in response to the needs and requests of the Trust.

At a personal level, St John’s staff are responding to the call to support the NHS.  Our Nurse Manager is taking a leave of absence from her role at school to work on the NHS frontline and get involved directly with the clinical response to COVID-19.  Her insightful advice and guidance has made a huge contribution to the health and wellbeing of our school community in recent weeks and we know she will now make a real difference to others as she applies her skills and experience where it is most needed. Many other staff have also committed to help the NHS through the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme. 

Rowena Cole, The Head, comments: “I have been deeply moved by the actions of our staff in recent weeks. In countless ways, they have shown their dedication to our pupils, to each other and to the wider community. Our school motto - seek those things that are above – encourages us to look beyond ourselves and to aspire to do and to be more.  The news is full of examples of the amazing medical staff and key workers across the country who embody this ideal; they set an inspiring example to us all. I know that, both collectively and individually, everyone at St John’s will seek ways to make a positive contribution in the coming days and weeks.”