Welcome from Jo Duncan

Looking Forward

Welcome to the first Wycombe News bulletin of 2021.

As we hurtle towards the end of January, days and weeks seemingly merging together, we have, at least, passed ‘Blue Monday’ which is traditionally the gloomiest day of the year. There is still a long way to go and schools continue to wait for news about when they can start to plan to reopen, but with a vaccination programme being rolled out, I hope we will have further information shortly. We are all looking forward to being back on site as a School community as soon as possible.

There is no doubt that the pandemic has taken its toll on the nation’s mental and physical health and adolescent mental health is a particular area of focus. Next week (25-29 January) is Mental Health Awareness Week at Wycombe Abbey and Miss Blunt will be leading a number of initiatives for girls in addition to our usual pastoral care provision. You can find details here.

Consideration is also being given to how GCSEs and A levels will be graded this summer and the Department for Education have opened a public consultation which is running until Friday 29 January 2021. The School will be responding to the questions as will our various associations including HMC and GSA and you are welcome to submit a response if you wish. Details can be found here and Miss Boswell will also be writing separately to parents of girls in UV and UVI.

On a more upbeat note, and as I write this on the week of the US Presidential inauguration, it seems fitting to acknowledge that Senator Kamala Harris becomes the first female Vice President in United States history. She has also broken racial barriers as the first Black person and first South Asian American elected to the second highest office in the country. The US, for the first time in its history, is joining other countries like New Zealand, Iceland, Germany, Taiwan and the UK in electing a female leader to the highest levels of government. Time will tell how she performs, but her achievement is worth celebrating.

I hope that you and your daughters are settling in to a new rhythm of living and working, with a balance between screen time and enjoyment of restful breaks away from devices.

Best wishes

Jo Duncan MA (St Andrews), PGCE (Cantab)