Confident but not arrogant

I imagine you were as struck as I was by the down-to-earth charm of 18-year-old Emma Raducanu last week. She was as incredulous as the rest of us over her spectacular and unprecedented rise to fame in the US Open, and equally remarkable was her natural poise in front of the camera. She comes across as a thoroughly nice person and I very much hope that she will not have her head turned by her sudden riches and all the media attention.

There can be a fine line between natural self-confidence and arrogance, and I am pleased to say that at LGS our pupils are often commended for the former. This perhaps stems partly from the healthy challenges which we set down on their path, and partly from our encouragement to get involved in activities outside the classroom, to try out new things and to learn from the experience. Some will still waver in their self-esteem and at times need to be convinced of their abilities and their potential. Some also need to be reminded of their many personal qualities and to understand that an element of self-doubt is actually quite normal and helps us to become stronger as human beings. And those who appear outwardly the most sure of themselves will undoubtedly have their own insecurities too.

It is absolutely right that we should encourage our children to be proud of their achievements, yet never to be boastful. Indeed, humility is one of the finest qualities we could hope for in them and one to respect and admire in others, wherever they appear in any hierarchy.

I love the parental comment in the Good Schools Guide:

“Well rounded individuals, confident but not arrogant, such a good reflection on the school.”

The individuals who leave us are our finest ambassadors: a great credit to the school and also to their parents. Thank you for this precious partnership.

Best wishes,

John Watson