Our servant Queen

Two words which have resonated throughout this week as people have commented on Her Late Majesty are ‘duty’ and ‘service’. Those who have joined a 5-mile queue in order to pay their respects have talked about their own gratitude to someone who took a personal interest in those whom she met, from all walks of life, and who was ever willing to serve her country and her subjects.

Such an enduring example of servant-leadership, grounded in the Queen’s sincere faith, was an inspiration to us as she adapted her approach as monarch to a rapidly changing world.

There are plenty of ways in which I see servant-leadership at LGS: in the compassionate and empathetic way in which colleagues support one another and guide our young people; in preparations currently for house drama, where our oldest pupils work so brilliantly and encouragingly with the youngest members of our community; in our prefects, so keen to make improvements to the lot of others in school and, through their charity-fundraising and community service, to the lives of those beyond LGS; in the commitment of our Year 12, over 50 of whom have recently enrolled on an eight-week course as student supporters, eager to work alongside younger pupils.

I believe that all our pupils have the potential to be leaders and to develop qualities which will enable them to make a positive difference to society and to their world. Our Sixth Formers benefit from still being part of a school in which they can grow their leadership skills as they interact with the lower years. The Ivy House course which forms part of our unique Sixth Form Aspire programme focusses initially on self-awareness, self-understanding and self-improvement (leadership of self), and then moves on to consider the qualities required for the leadership of others. One of the key lessons is that we cannot change others, we can only change ourselves; I.e.  more often than not, it is our reaction to situations and to those around us which can most favourably influence outcomes. To learn that lesson and to enact the learning for the benefit of others requires humility, one of the greatest gifts of leadership, and one that was epitomised in our servant Queen.

Best wishes to you and your family as we pause this long weekend to give thanks,

John Watson