Today is Foundation Day, when we have the opportunity to celebrate everything LGS stands for in 2021, to give thanks for those who had the inspiration to found our school forty years ago in 1981, and to share with others who have been part of its remarkable journey.
We are privileged to welcome the Right Reverend Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester, to preach at our service and we shall be hearing about ‘LGS Yesterday’, ‘LGS Today’ and ‘LGS Tomorrow’. I thought I would share with you my contribution, ‘LGS Tomorrow’:
Time travel or at least the ability to decipher a crystal ball would have been quite handy over the last 18 months, but I’m afraid that this mere mortal of a headmaster is not blessed with such supernatural powers.
Our founders 40 years ago dared to dream dreams – initially very precarious dreams – and, also lacking the ability to look into the future, would have had little conception of how a school with 94 pupils in September 1981 would become the LGS Trust community of three schools and some 1700 pupils and staff today.
What an exciting adventure and what cause for thanks and celebration! You and I are all part of that adventure, each one of us playing a role in the remarkable journey of our school and each one of us contributing to the story of its success and happiness. And our privilege and our duty is to preserve the legacy of our predecessors and to hand over our school to future generations even better and finer than it was before.
Back in March 2020 (yes, just before the world changed), our trustees and school leaders spent a day navel-gazing and planning for a bright future: LGS tomorrow.
We shared a 2030 vision. We agreed what we wanted each of our schools to have:
- Excellent academic outcomes and co-curricular opportunities.
- Innovative teaching and learning supported by a digital strategy.
- A forward-looking and stimulating curriculum.
- An environmental focus with outstanding facilities.
- An international/ global outlook.
And we wanted each of our schools to be:
- Financially secure and adequately flexible to invest in developing our pupils and staff.
- A community with clear ethos and values.
- A community where well-being is promoted.
- A community which prioritises public benefit and outreach.
I’m not going to attempt to predict what LGS will look like after the next 40 years, how many pupils it will have, what buildings or facilities we might have added, whether robots will have replaced the teachers (although I’m convinced that will never happen), what subjects pupils will study or whether Sixth Formers will still call their study periods ‘free periods’ to be spent putting the world to rights over a coffee in the Café.
What I can predict with confidence is that the strong sense of community and proud belonging which developed very quickly in the old school and which we share today – the clear ethos and values, the emphasis on well-being (simply called 'happiness’ back in those days) and outreach or service - that strong sense of community will persist and will continue to grow.
Although I predict it confidently, let’s never take it for granted, as it’s not a given. Together, we build community every day: in the sharing of our values; in the ways in which we encourage, support and care for one another; in our selfless service to others beyond our school; in our nurturing of generous young people, determined to make a positive difference to the lives of those around them and to contribute powerfully to the future of our world.
LGS tomorrow: a community of opportunity, a beacon of hope and a wellspring of generosity.
I thank you for your support during a very busy first half of term and hope you are able to enjoy some rest and refreshment with family during the break.