A Final Thank You!

Rhys and Emma

School Captains

19th April 2021

20/21 has been an academic year like no other.

Disruption, uncertainty and enormous challenges have faced all of us. And while so much has changed over the past year, this global disruption presents an opportunity to take a step back and reflect. What lessons have we learned? What are we thankful for? And what’s been our best experience of the pandemic? Whether that’s being able to appreciate each moment, adapting to new challenges or simply innovating – many of us will come to remember the pandemic for the valuable lessons it’s given us. Now is the time for creativity, new solutions, failures, learnings and approaches to dealing with old problems. Now is the time to be optimistic. Now is the time to look for the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. But as school captains, our message to everyone is simple: thank you.

Teachers and staff – thank you. From embracing remote learning opportunities to providing emergency childcare, all of our school’s staff have stepped up to the plate. With little warning of changes in guidance – staff have adapted, altered and enhanced their teaching and support to provide the best education for all of us. As school captains, we don’t want that message lost. Banchory Academy’s staff are truly our ‘COVID heroes’, and without them, this last year would have been undoubtedly more challenging. But we also believe that this pandemic has made us realise something: we took our teachers for granted until we were forced to confront the essential role they play in our lives. All staff stepped up when it counted. All staff were confronted with immense stress and pressure. All staff have gone above and beyond.

Pupils – thank you. Whether wearing masks, bringing hand sanitiser or following the (annoying) one-way systems, everyone has been a testament to how our school can really come together. We understand that these restrictions have not been easy, and the challenges facing all year groups have been felt across the school. From S1, S2 and S3’s missing out on crucial socialisation to the exam disruption and uncertainty faced by S4, S5 and S6’s – this year has been pretty rubbish. But we will all take something from this – we will all come out stronger and more resilient. We will all realise that collaboration is key, perseverance is key, and resilience is key. It’s fair to say that this pandemic has been our greatest lesson.

Parents – thank you. From supporting online learning to adapting with us with new guidance, all parents have played their role in making our academic year more manageable. The disruption, uncertainty and challenges have had a massive effect on family life, and we want to appreciate the support of so many parents through this pandemic. From looking out for your child’s mental health, supporting their understanding of regulations, to simply getting them up in the morning to get onto Teams – the role that parents have played has been invaluable.

20/21 has been a whirlwind. Our world has become unrecognisable from what it once was; each day invariably differs from the next; the future is one unknown to all. But 20/21 opens up new opportunities: to be creative, to collaborate and to innovate. Grasp the future – whatever it holds – and don’t let it stand in your way.

On behalf of all the captains, thank you and have an enjoyable summer.