Quite extraordinary!

I wrote last week about ‘routine’. Well, this week has been far from it!

I wasn’t expecting a phone call on Monday morning to inform me of an imminent inspection (which has actually been planned since August), and my staff - both teaching and support - have worked extremely hard this week to ensure that our school would be seen in the best light. But it’s not, of course, about ‘turning it on’ for four days; it’s about the consistent pursuit of excellence for our pupils, and inspectors gauge this from numerous conversations and observations.

Inspection nowadays is actually focussed on the outcomes (achievement and personal development) for pupils, and everything we do to engender those outcomes is a contributory factor. I am hugely privileged as a head to see my pupils (and indeed my staff) doing remarkable and extraordinary things!

There have been examples in abundance this week alone:

  • Two pupils competed in the Historical Association Great Debate Competition, and our Year 11 girl came first in the regional round, thus progressing to the national final at Windsor Castle in March. The title was: ‘Should we judge historical figures by the morals of today?’
  • The Senior Maths Challenge Team (of four Sixth Formers) won the regional round (hosted at LGS) on Monday, beating 14 other teams, including strong independents such as Rugby and Loughborough Grammar; they now progress to the national final in February.
  • A Year 10 boy won the Harborough District Junior Sportsman of the Year (actually hosted in school on Wednesday evening) for reaching national and international level in four sports. Four Year 10 girls were part of the netball team which won Team of the Year at the same sports awards.
  • Our U16 netball team won 6 out of 7 games on Tuesday, progressing to the East Midlands regional schools final.
  • The U15 Girls' Tennis Team won their regional final in Birmingham. They now progress to the national finals in Bolton in December.
  • Our recently trained Diana Award anti-bullying ambassadors have been leading assemblies and working with form groups during anti-bullying week.
  • On Tuesday, many of us were treated to an exhilarating Lower School Concert! About 200 pupils performed out of 374 in Years Prep – 9. All 134 Prep and Year 7 pupils performed in Lower School Singers (134 pupils), including 16 soloists. 95 pupils performed on their instruments. There were 13 different groups and I counted 25 violinists in the training orchestra. Wow!

I am not yet at liberty to reveal the findings of the inspection. However, I can tell you that it is not surprising that the inspectors were extremely impressed by our pupils and that I was enormously proud of our school community when listening to the verbal feedback. I can also tell you that we met all Independent School Standards Regulations – over 400 of them – so you should be confident that the school takes the welfare and the safety of your children very seriously.

The report will not be published to you until January, but I have no doubts that you will be very pleased. Thank you very much for your support.

Best wishes

John Watson
Headmaster and Principal