26th March 21
A year ago this week, the Prime Minister made a televised address from Downing Street and gave the British people a very simple instruction – ‘stay at home’. It would be easy for a nation now used to lockdown and comfortable with Covid nomenclature such as quarantine, lateral flow, and social distancing to forget just what those days in March 2020 were like. And this week, we took time to reflect and remember what has been a challenging and demanding year for us all. We also took the time to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Westminster Bridge attack, where innocent people lost their lives.
Although this week has had its sombre moments, it was also an opportunity for us to come together as a community, as a family, like we have done so many times over this lockdown period. That sense of community is still strong and vibrant, both online and in-person and is evident throughout College. Our students continue to impress with their sensible and measured approach to this pandemic and the restrictions. This week’s fire drill spoke volumes about their maturity, and I thank them for the way they have conducted themselves since we have returned to face-to-face teaching earlier this month. We continue to use every opportunity to connect with each other safely, and I know that a return to normality is in sight. The UK’s world-beating vaccination programme, with over 50% of the adult population having been vaccinated (including many colleagues at DLD), the fact that hospitalisations are rapidly decreasing, as are infection rates, all lead me to believe that normal service will resume in time.
But we must not become complacent, and we must ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ to ensure that we keep safe and that all the excellent work that we have done so far does not go to waste. It is, of course, a crucial period for our students to undertake effective revision. I know I do not need to remind them of the importance of consistent and effective hard work over the weeks ahead, and we will support them through this tough period. They will sit assessments next term, which will help our teachers award their final assessed grades – I know our students will not disappoint us. I wish them well in their endeavours and preparations, and my sincere thanks go to all the staff, teaching and support, who go that extra mile to ensure that the provision and care at DLD are second to none. I look forward to welcoming everybody back to College at the beginning of the new summer term on Monday the 12th of April.
The Easter holidays will be a time of renewal and an opportunity to refresh, recharge and recuperate. It’s also a time to look forward too (don’t forget the clocks go forward this Sunday in the UK for British Summer Time). We hope that we will be able to reconnect with our families and friends when the ‘stay at home’ guidance is dropped next week. We have come a long way together; let’s keep going.
Irfan Latif, Principal