THE head teacher at a Warrington high school has issued a heart warming ‘thank you’ letter to staff, pupils and parents to mark the end of term.

Ed McGlinchey wanted to express ‘greater appreciation’ of the journey that St Gregory’s Catholic High School had been on in the last 16 months, rather than a normal thank you letter.

In the open letter, Mr McGlinchey thanked students, their families and staff and reflected on what the school had achieved before a period of renewal.

The head teacher started by thanking the students: ‘‘First, I want to thank the brilliant young people of St Gregory’s, the students.

‘‘This is your school and every adult connected to it is only here because of you, this is your education and this is the place where we want you to shine, grow academically but most importantly, to become wonderful young adults who go on to great lives and careers.

‘‘You have not had it easy, far from it, in fact, no youth generation since the Second World War has had to adapt and overcome as much as you have.’’

Mr McGlinchey addressed how the students have lost time in school, lost ‘precious social time’ with their friends, become independent ‘ahead of their years, adjusted to new rules, bubbles, circulation systems, and new methods of examination.

He continued: ‘‘You have done amazingly well and you have become better people for it. This may not be realised right now, but the seeds of resilience and adaptation have been sown and you will use these attributes throughout your whole life.

‘‘Without you in school, we did not have a school; we were merely an empty shell. It is you that makes St Gregory’s the special place it is and we are delighted you are here, inspiring us every day.’’

The letter also thanked parents and carers, stating how they have become ‘specialists.’

‘‘Your home teaching has been achieved whilst also juggling your day job, running your homes and dealing with the many anxieies that life and the pandemic has thrown at you.

‘‘As a school situated right next to Warrington hospital, I have realised just how many of our parents are an invaluable part of the NHS, working in all fields from medicine, nursing, mental health and social care.

‘‘Without your strength, our community would not have dealt with the pandemic as well as we have done.

‘‘You have sent countless messages of thanks to our staff and showed appreciation all through the darkest weeks of the pandemic and make no mistake, these messages were well received and provided a timely boost for all concerned.’’

Mr McGlinchey acknowledged how parents and carers have experienced job losses, furlough, illness, stress, anxiety but have still always put their children first and ensured their education has continued without ‘minimal disruption.’

Finally, the head teacher thanked all staff at St Gregory’s.

He stated how the staffs’ work has completely changed at times, becoming counsellors, IT experts, remote education gurus, lab assistants, and many more.

Mr McGlinchey continued: ‘‘You have been isolated; you have been ill, you too have juggled family life and online live lessons with your own children needing your support and your dog barking during lessons.

‘‘You have stared into an empty screen at times, wondering if your audience is definitely listening to your lesson on trigonometry or the feudal system.

‘‘Your innovation to engage others through Microsoft Teams is awe-inspiring.

‘‘You have adapted your classrooms, set seating plans and helped pupils visualise learning in the absence of the ability to use materials, equipment and props.’’

The letter finished: ‘‘We go now into the summer in the hope that we can enjoy the rest, recuperate and enter a new school year with optimism and hope for better times ahead, using all of the lessons learnt during the pandemic to make us more understanding of who we are when we face challenges.’’