Enjoying a dynamic learning community

I meet with lots of pupils at this time of year, and they never cease to amaze and amuse me!

I have just started my round of Prep and Year 7 visits, so that I can begin to get to know our younger pupils as they embark on their LGS journey. It is also their opportunity to ask me any questions they like about the school and about myself; some questions are more imaginative and challenging than others, and pupils generally understand what is appropriate! There was much excitement outside the form room I visited yesterday, as prefects played a fun game of ‘Splat’ with another Year 7 form – building trust between younger and older members of our school. I also hold lunchtime ‘tea parties’ with Year 11 in November, to help them relax a little in what is one of the most demanding terms of their school career. Again, they can ask questions and share their ideas.

This half of term too, I observe all our new teachers and we then have a discussion, both about the lesson and about how they are settling at LGS. They are invariably positive about the work ethic of our pupils and about their interest in their learning. It is indeed great to see the enthusiasm and curiosity with which our pupils respond to inspiring teaching. As teachers, we are all part of a learning environment; we are therefore self-reflective and keen to adapt our practice to best support our pupils’ progress. It is why, this year, our Teaching & Learning Framework priority is ‘Variety and engagement in lesson activities’; we will be giving staff more opportunity to share good practice, to learn from each other and to learn from research. Certainly, my own ideas and approach as a teacher have always benefited from seeing others in action, often in subjects very different from my own.

On Wednesday evening, there was plenty of very pleasing feedback from both pupils and parents as they left Year 12 parents’ evening. The former have settled very well to their A-level studies and their teachers are very encouraged. Teaching and learning are at the heart of everything we do, and, as teachers, we derive as much enjoyment as our pupils from the positive working relationships we form with them. That dynamic underpins the success and happiness of our school community.

Best wishes,

John Watson