I hope you are enjoying the brighter weather and looking forward to another holiday weekend! It has been great to see summer sports in full motion again and for pupils to benefit from use of the fields at lunchtime.
Some of our Year 10 pupils will be on their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition this weekend. Revision will no doubt be on the agenda for pupils in Years 11 and 13 as their exams approach. Many, I hope, will celebrate the coronation of King Charles III through the Big Lunch, street parties and community events.
We will be holding our own celebration in school this morning ahead of Saturday’s service. There will be pomp and pageantry and galore in London, and some will be critical of the costs, even if Charles has opted for a ‘slimmed-down’ version of coronation, given the current cost of living crisis. A survey last week suggested that the younger generation was likely to be more critical, as they are of the monarchy as an institution and of its benefits to our nation today.
If you have followed the media coverage, you will know that the service will begin with a procession of faith leaders from the Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Bahai and Zoroastrian communities – representing Charles’ own desire as head of the Church of England to embrace and celebrate the multi-faith nature and diversity of Britain today; this is something which we value hugely at LGS. He will then be greeted by a 14-year-old member of the Chapel Royal choir, thus emphasising the importance of young people in society, for they are our future.
The King will respond: “In His name and after His example, I come not to be served but to serve” - where the ‘His’ refers to the example of Jesus Christ. Shedding his robes of status as he is anointed in a private part of the service, the King will be set apart for service: service of the people of this country and service of God. Even as King, he is one of the people, sharing in our human weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
We know how keen Charles, as Prince of Wales, was to support charities through the Prince’s Trust, to highlight the dangers of global warming and the importance of sustainability and to celebrate diversity and positive inter-faith dialogue. And he was also keen that the bank holiday should encourage people to volunteer in their local areas – hence Monday’s Big Help Out after Sunday’s Big Lunch, and the hope that the coronation is not just about this weekend.
I mentioned the Duke of Edinburgh Award earlier in this bulletin. One aspect of DofE is service, and we hope that our pupils embrace that by volunteering to do something which lies outside their comfort zone and genuinely exposes them to novel situations where they can support others less fortunate than themselves. One of the pillars of our Sixth Form Aspire programme is also community service or charity fundraising, and it is great this term to see our Year 12 going into the community on Monday mornings to support various projects: LOROS hospice, Hope Against Cancer, Menphys warehouse, Kibworth residential home and primary school liaison. Not only has this initiative been very well received but our pupils have both enjoyed and learned much from it. My own experience tells me that we always gain more from such participation than we actually give.
So, I hope that our young people will grow up with the humility to put others before themselves, and to serve - at home, in our school community and in their wider lives.
Many congratulations to three of our Year 13 pupils, Aditya, Ali and Lucas, for being chosen as one of three runners-up teams in the Earth Prize 2023, out of 1,150 schools in 116 countries!
This is an outstanding achievement. The school will receive a sum of money to upscale their project, so as to make a significant difference to the lives of farmers, initially in India, and to contribute to a sustainable future for our planet. They have also been selected from the three runners-up teams to present their project at a global forum in Switzerland in late June.
Best wishes for the weekend,