The River Thames outside DLD College London

From the Principal #133

7th January 22

Happy New Year!

Welcome back to 2022. I hope you and your loved ones had a peaceful and relaxing Christmas holiday and are looking forward to what the new year brings. We were all hoping that 2022 would be very different to 2021, and it hasn’t failed to deliver in that respect!

2022 will undoubtedly have its own unique challenges, but the DLD community, like the various strains of the virus, has mutated into something more potent, and I have been impressed with how our staff and students have stepped up to meet the new challenges that face us all. That’s what I call resilience. We are in the business of ‘creating unique learning opportunities’ – that is our vision, and we have continued to do just that, despite the apparent challenges.

Since returning, plenty has happened. We have boosted our remote learning provision to support those who have not returned to the UK and have set up our COVID-19 testing facility. We have tested over 100 students on site, and our staff continue to test twice weekly, highlighting our robust safety measures and protocols at DLD. We had our ‘Development Day’ for staff and looked at aspects of best practice with online learning, new teaching initiatives, and the importance of neurodiversity. We have put in place supervision for our BTEC students sitting their exams this month and have forged ahead with these, allowing our students to demonstrate their learning, ability, and knowledge. We have put new catering and cleaning plans in place and have prepared the College for the upcoming mock and public exams over the next three weeks – my thanks to all staff and students for their cooperation and support. We also had our whole school assembly online, welcoming our students and our new January starters to the DLD family. It’s been quite a week!

We welcome the following new members of staff who have joined us this term. Dr Sarah Watson is the new Vice Principal (Academic), and Mrs Emer Nicholson is the new Assistant Principal (Academic). Mr Mark Johnson (another one!) is our new Head of Economics and Miss Meriam Rachdi, our new Teacher of Business. Miss Tara Garden is the new Art Technician, Usriya Al-Shiraz, our new Psychology PGCE student and Chinyere Emeruwa, our new temporary Receptionist. We are very much looking forward to working with our new colleagues and supporting them as they settle into life at DLD.

A warm DLD welcome to all our new starters, including our new January students, and I wish everyone a better, bolder, and brighter 2022 – we can’t wait to ‘spring’ into action!

Best wishes

Irfan Latif