Breadth and depth

Wednesday was ‘National Numeracy Day’, and you may have read about an economist’s suggestion that the subject ‘maths’ should be called ‘numeracy’, to make it less “academic and scary”. Methinks the article was not entirely fair, as he was talking primarily about the low numeracy skills of too many adults: "It’s important that we can live our lives in a financially sustainable way, making choices about money and savings, spending and pensions and jobs, and all those things that we know are really important to us......Calling it mathematics.....makes it sound quite conceptual. Some people don’t get conceptual stuff.”

We are very fortunate at LGS that, although some of our pupils find maths challenging (and positive challenge is actually good for all of us), the vast majority have a very healthy attitude towards their learning of a subject whose importance they rightly value.

I was talking recently with some Year 10 pupils about their experience of modern language learning and, without exception, they felt it was right that a language was core curriculum for most until GCSE; they were again very positive about their learning. This contrasts with the disheartening national picture, with fewer than 50% of 16-year-olds sitting an MFL GCSE. Fear not: as a linguist, I am not going to indulge in some form of lament at this point.

We have an academically selected cohort of pupils at LGS, supported by specialist teachers; the former are mutually supportive in their desire to learn and to do well, whilst the latter teach them to rise to challenges and to be determined to give of their best. Our range of subjects on offer at GCSE and the guidelines for options enable breadth and variety of curriculum – so that pupils cannot really go wrong. At A level, the list is not exhaustive, but we have added Psychology and Business in recent times and believe that the subjects available (and their combinations) are all highly suitable for our Sixth Form students as they mostly aspire to further academic study at university. To be clear, there is no hierarchy of A levels at LGS; every subject we offer is appropriately demanding and highly respected. Of most importance is that students are inspired with a love of learning in a combination of subjects which will furnish them with a range of exciting future opportunities.

As our Year 13 students depart for study leave, we wish them deserved success in their examinations and look forward to celebrating their time at LGS in due course.

Best wishes,

John Watson