A fire to be ignited...

I have enjoyed a very full and exciting first four weeks at Leicester Grammar and it’s hard to believe that half-term is now upon us! We have already begun to look towards the next academic year, and welcomed the new Prep pupils and their parents to the school on Tuesday; we were delighted to hear from two of the current year’s Prep class about all their adventures and to sense the eager anticipation of those about to embark on their new journey. I have also spent a day each in our Junior School and Stoneygate this week, and have gone home both exhausted by the sheer energy of our youngest learners and exhilarated by their playful imaginations!

Senior or secondary schools are sometimes accused of knocking the imagination and creativity out of children as life becomes more serious and our students (we hope!) learn to assume more responsibility for their choices and their actions. That really shouldn’t be the case! Yes, we know that learning requires dedication and hard graft, as all our students should experience as they prepare for examinations – both external and internal. This isn’t always glamorous, as we must also ensure that our candidates ‘play the game’ and are well versed in revision and examination technique. But our role as teachers is above all to enthuse and to inspire as we convey a love of our subject, and as we challenge our students to be creative and original, to find their own solutions – either independently or in collaboration with others. To serve up knowledge on a plate to compliant, receptive learners is not only tedious (for both student and teacher) but hardly prepares our young people for when they want or need to adapt and apply that knowledge themselves.

Perseverance brings its own rewards, not only in terms of outcomes but also through the thrill that accompanies mastery of any topic, subject or skill.

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited.”
(Plutarch, Greek historian and philosopher)

I wish you and your families a restful and happy bank holiday weekend.

John Watson


Headmaster and Chief Executive