Making every second count

I imagine you have followed some of the current controversy over the ‘Lockdown Files’: leaked WhatsApp messages between Matt Hancock, former Health Secretary, and other ministers, including from December 2020 when they were debating whether to close schools for a second time.

Whether or not the right lockdown decisions were taken the world over during such unprecedented circumstances, we know that being out of school for extended periods of time is not good for children. I was astonished by their resilience and adaptability and humbled by the commitment of my staff, but none of us has ever questioned the importance of being in the physical classroom to benefit fully from the dynamic of teaching and learning alongside others.

Hence the concerns nationally at the moment over absence from school, especially after such a disrupted period. There are some children who have simply not returned to the classroom, whilst overall attendance figures (90.8% across state secondary schools since September) are significantly lower than they should be. Thankfully we are in a significantly better position at LGS and we have fortunately not been affected by strike action over pay. However, I am still concerned by some unnecessary pupil absences and by the lost learning that then ensues. Our children only have one chance at their education, and I know that is why our parents make considerable sacrifices to invest in a privileged experience at LGS. So, please always do your best to maximise your child’s time in school and to avoid late arrival for pastoral time and assemblies in the morning.

Whilst time in the classroom is very precious, so too is the time spent on the other activities from which pupils can benefit. We encourage them to ‘think outside the box’ and we have had more entries and more success than ever in the recent UK Linguistics Olympiad, as well as winning all three categories of this year’s Leicester Rotary Technology Tournament. Such success has this week been crowned by the initiative and imagination of a group of three Year 13 pupils, whose invention ‘Agripod’ has made it to the global finals of the Earth Prize (alongside one other UK school called Winchester College!): https://www.lgs-senior.org.uk/news/?pid=21&nid=4&storyid=297

Well done for making every second count!

Best wishes,

John Watson