What was it like to be Holy Trinity School's head girl in a global pandemic?

Nobody could have predicted the implications of closing schools on March 20 2020.

Coronavirus had appeared in the headlines a few weeks previous and the word around was that it would give us a few weeks off school and then we would be back to normal with the virus having run its course. Reflecting on this a year on with all I know now, it baffles me to think that I was one of those people who wasn’t concerned.

I was having the time of my life in Sixth Form, learning new information that fascinated me, exploring my future and even applying for a role on the Head Team. It was fair to say that I was incredibly naïve and yet, I don’t think any of us could have known what the year would hold.

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During lockdown I was elected as Head Girl of Holy Trinity after being interviewed in February 2020. It was a surreal feeling opening the email and realising that from all the candidates, I had been selected! After the initial shock, I began to think of how on earth this would work. What was going to have to change? Would my role be the same as in previous years? Would I have the opportunity to implement the ideas that I had?

Catherine Sharp, Head Girl at Holy Trinity School

There were many ‘what ifs?’ going around my head. Despite not being able to do all we may have been able to do if this year were more typical, with the help of my fellow Head Team members, Junior Head Team members and the aid of school staff, we have managed to adapt our ideas to safely move the school forward in its journey.

As a Head Team we have been planning and adapting Charity Week 2021 for months, turning it into an online day event with shows on demand and even creating a challenge for the holidays for staff, pupils and their families to get involved with.

Throughout the tests of online meetings, safety consultations and uncertainty, we have adapted a key fundraiser (and fun raiser!) into a new form that can be reused going forward if necessary.

Part of our roles as Head Team was to be representatives of the school. This meant not only being model students, but also to aid in open days and other information evenings.

Holy Trinity School's head team

The Head Boy, Harry, and I have spoken on video for online events such as the open evenings for prospective students; this gave students a perspective on the school from those who have studied there, even in a time where they may be unable to visit the school themselves.

Our Heads of School Council, Tegan and William, have worked tirelessly with Mrs Clarke to continue to run School Council in a time where student voice is even more vital than usual. They set up the student representatives into Team’s meetings so that each tutor group across the school would have an elected student who could voice their opinions, thoughts and views through the months of online school.

This has been vital in the pandemic as it has meant that students could voice their opinions on online school and how the school could adapt this strange learning style to be the best it could be.

We, as the Head Team, have worked hard to try and make our time in these positions as beneficial as possible so that the school could still continue forward in its journey even in a difficult time.

Throughout this time, we have learnt many lessons and developed skills that will aid us in our lives beyond Holy Trinity, wherever and whatever they may be. As a team we have grown closer which has created new friendships and developed bonds that already existed between us.

Despite us all having variation in our future plans, I believe I can speak for us all when I say that our Head Team experience has been unexpected at times but completely invaluable. Even if we were unable to interact with the student body as much as we wished, we still hope that the effects of our leadership can be seen when we leave the school and that those who follow us will be able to continue our mission of helping the school to be the best that it can be.

This past academic year has certainly taught me that even if you have a plan, it may not all happen the way you hope. That lesson has applied in many ways, from my personal life to planning school events. I believe that this lesson will stick with us all going forward into the future.

On behalf of all the Head Team members, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the students and staff of Holy Trinity for the chance to be part of their student leadership team and to wish them farewell as we continue in our journeys beyond the school; Holy Trinity has shaped us into who we are and who we will be, and the lessons academic or otherwise that we have learnt will stay with us forever.