Letter from Mr Mark Howe following the sad passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Dear families of Forres Sandle Manor,
On behalf of all members of the Forres Sandle Manor community, both past and present, I am writing to share our deepest and heartfelt sorrow at the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
It was only last week, during my first day with all teaching staff, that I was sharing with them my fervent belief that our purpose as a school should be ‘to equip our children to use their talents to improve the lives of others and through doing so, make their own mark on the world’. I am sure you will agree that there can be no greater example of this than Her Majesty, who dedicated herself entirely to a life of service, duty and improving the lives of others through her kindness, compassion and selfless devotion. As is human nature, only in her passing will we truly begin to understand the immense contribution she has made to millions of people during the past 70 years.
This morning we gathered the children together and paused in silence to reflect on this historic moment in our own history but also to connect to all those in the Commonwealth and around the world who will like us, be mourning her passing. We will hold further assemblies next week to play our part in helping the children to better understand the significance of her life as well as the events of the next few days and weeks. As you would expect, we have encouraged all our children to share their feelings and questions with staff and where appropriate, teachers will be adapting their planning in the coming days to use their lessons to help further develop this understanding.
The Department of Education has made it clear that schools ‘should remain open’ during this period and have stated that ‘Schools and Further Education settings should remain open. Whilst normal attendance is expected, headteachers continue to have the power to authorise leaves of absence for pupils in exceptional circumstances. Any requests for leave of absence should be considered on a case-by-case basis taking into account individual circumstances.’ In light of this, I appreciate that a number of our families may wish to alter their plans during the coming days, and this, in turn, may mean we receive some requests for absence; I would be grateful if you could send these to me via my PA, firstname.lastname@example.org. Saturday enrichment will continue as planned tomorrow, and I look forward to seeing many of you there as we begin our programme for the academic year.
Finally, I am sure you will join me in passing on our thoughts and prayers to His Majesty King Charles III and all of his family as they begin the unenviable task of mourning the loss of a much-loved member of their family whilst also leading the nation and the Commonwealth through a period of mourning. At FSM, we will endeavour to play our very small part in celebrating a life so wonderfully lived and to using her example to help inspire us all to continue to serve others in the UK and across the world.
Mr Mark Howe