The devastating Covid 19 pandemic has proved memorable for many reasons. As I write this blog, nearly 40,000 people in the UK have lost their lives to this terrible virus and the worldwide total is ten times this number. The impact on our mental and economic wellbeing is not yet fully known but is likely to be similarly devastating. And yet, the crisis has also revealed the resilience and tenacity of humanity and what we can achieve when we come together and act together. It has demonstrated the power of collectivism over individualism and the hegemony of society.
The College has tried tried to play its part in society’s battle against the virus. We have produced over a thousand face masks and distributed them to GP surgeries, hospitals, care homes and other essential services throughout the city. We have remained open since the beginning of the crisis and throughout school holidays to provide education to the children of key workers so that they are able to continue their great work. And this week we have reopened our Prep school to EYFS, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils as the first step on the journey back to normality. It was a real joy to see the smiling faces of children back at school.
These are the social values that underpin our ‘Power of Partnerships’ initiative, launched earlier this year at school This initiative is now driving much of our pupil experience at and beyond school.The key partnership is, of course, between teachers and pupils. We continue to develop a culture of collaboration, cooperation and empowerment across activities in and beyond the classroom. Another key partnership is with parents, with communication, feedback and focus groups now a regular feature of interactions with parents. We have also developed a range of partnerships with organisations across the city of Plymouth.
Academically, our teachers work in collaboration with colleagues at both of the city’s universities. We also work closely with elements of local government, on outreach activities, such as the Big Bang STEM event, local schools and colleges, such as Plymouth College of Art, and other local organisations, such as Derriford hospital who support our Pre-Med course for medics, dentists and vets. We have developed strategic partnerships with a number of local sports clubs, including Plymouth Argyle Football Club, Plymouth Leander Swimming Club and Plymouth Raiders Basketball Club.
We are also working closely with the Devon Chamber of Commerce who are assisting with the development of the Plymouth College Business School, through which we intend to deliver further outreach activity focused on finance, commerce and careers education. It is through this range of powerful partnerships that we are striving to educate, enrich and empower not only our pupils but pupils throughout and beyond our city.
Our aspiration at Plymouth College is to produce rounded, grounded, happy and successful global citizens. If our pupils leave us having understood and taken ownership of the values underpinning the concept of the power of partnerships and then in their lives beyond school seek to serve others in the pursuit of their success then we will undoubtedly achieve our aspiration.