Inspiring a life-long love of learning

Our pupils in Years 11 and 13 are currently sitting Trial (mock) exams as preparation for national tests in the summer. They are approaching their Trials very sensibly, for they know that the outcome of their exams will be a prime determinant of their next step in education. Teachers will do their best to support, guide and equip their charges, and I am glad to say that LGS pupils generally perform very well, as you may have seen in The Sunday Times Parent Power just before the break.

At the same time, we hear that GCSEs and A-levels are in need of reform if they are to best prepare children for life in today’s world, with our Prime Minister also recommending that all youngsters take some form of mathematics until the age of 18. It is my belief that reform is required but that schools aren’t doing a great job anyway if they are simply ‘teaching to the test’. Whatever the framework within which we work, it is our duty to inspire a love of learning and to prepare our youngsters both for rewarding work and for a fulfilling life.

Young children often ask all manner of endless questions as they begin to discover the world around them, requiring us as parents to think about things we take for granted and to look ourselves for answers. Such curiosity and questioning are qualities we should continue to encourage as our children move through the teenage years. The acquisition of knowledge is undoubtedly hugely important, but so too are the softer skills and the values which help them to apply that knowledge and navigate the complexities and moral dilemmas of life. Teachers love it when a pupil asks a question to which they don’t immediately know the answer, and we accept that much of the necessary research required to find the answers is now available via the internet. But the real riches are still only won through perseverance and dedication – rather than some of the bite-sized online nonsense that is easy to digest quickly but is low in nutritional worth!

So, please encourage your child(ren) to remain curious by engaging them in discussion about our world, and, with us, by signposting some of the books (yes!), websites and sources which stimulate the joy of fascination and discovery. One such example, the Cultural Tutor (https://culturaltutor.com/), could inspire you to do so!

Best wishes,

John Watson