The Power of Community

We all like to have a sense of belonging, sharing and being together. Since schools closed before Easter, staff and pupils, through various initiatives, have done their best to keep community alive and relevant even while we are apart. Some of those activities have featured in our special weekly newsletter, ‘LGS Together’, and a range of challenges, assemblies and tutorial time have continued to reflect our values and to foster some of the fun, enthusiasm and mutual support of being at school. We know it’s not the same and look forward to the time when the school will again pulse with life.

I have, however, been hugely heartened by the wonderful response of our community to the fundraising appeal for Pets as Therapy as we show our support and love for Tom and his family. As I write, the total has already reached £6585 and we know that the bonds which unite us as a community are stronger than the virus which separates us. And we hope that is of some small comfort to Tom and family at this time.

I have sometimes been asked what makes an excellent teacher. It’s easy to talk about passion for the subject, knowledge, varied approach and strong results (all of which are important), but I actually believe an excellent teacher is someone who cares deeply about each individual in their class – because that individual then knows just how much they are valued, and they will respond accordingly. In a school of 850 pupils, those relationships really matter in creating a culture of mutual respect and support. We should always aim to celebrate our individual differences which make us who we are and add value to the lives of all of us in a richly diverse community, drawing its members from a variety of faiths and cultural backgrounds.

Our internal assessments begin today, and I hope your son or daughter feels well prepared. Thereafter, there will be some feedback during lessons before we focus on a series of events which increase social interaction and build community. For two years groups, 10 and 12, some of this will occur in school, where we can invite one quarter of the cohort in at any one time, and we shall also be inviting in for some additional support those (in 10 and 12) who have found remote learning most challenging. For others apart from the Prep, I regret that the programme must occur remotely. 

In the meantime, let’s never underestimate the power of community.

Coretta Scott King

Best wishes for the week ahead,
John Watson

Headmaster and Principal