Shine a Light

It’s been lovely to be treated to some beautiful, crisp winter days this week, with some glorious sunrises – quite a contrast to the gloomy yet unseasonably mild days of December. Such brightness certainly lifts our spirits, especially when most of us leave and return home in the dark!

This time last year we were, of course, in second lockdown and mostly confined to our homes, coping with remote schooling (again) and isolated from one another. It felt for many like a pretty dark place and it certainly tested our resilience.

The bright days and the cosiness of our homes are somehow accentuated by the dark and the cold, and the same is true of our human interactions. We are all grateful for the light that others shine into our lives when we’re perhaps not on top form, as well as for the warmth of friendship and the love of our families.

You may have heard of the simple ‘10/5’ or ‘Zone of hospitality’ rule, widely practised in the hospitality industry. Staff are taught that they should make eye contact and smile warmly when a guest comes within ten feet, cheerfully greeting anyone who comes within five feet. Aspects of that are currently a bit more difficult with face coverings, but smiles and greetings between pupils and between pupils and staff certainly make a massive difference to the warmth of the LGS community.

At the same time, there are so many ways in which our pupils can shine a light into others’ lives. Daily acts of kindness and courtesy at school and at home often breed reciprocity. Student supporters, anti-bullying ambassadors or just caring, timely words of encouragement shared by a friend or a teacher can do much to influence our mood. One of the greatest compliments I can read in a school report is when the tutor says of a pupil that they “light up the room” when they enter in the morning; we all appreciate such positive people who will often sow smiles and laughter in their paths.

Our leading lights in the school encourage others to follow them by example – whether as prefects, on the sports field, in house events, in club activities or charity fundraising. Two such shining examples for me this week are the Year 10 girls who were so moved by the plight of the homeless that they volunteered to take an assembly and then raised enough money to purchase a number of Sleep Pods (https://sleeppod.org.uk/) to keep rough sleepers warm and dry during the dark and very cold nights of winter. Well done to Florence and to Gracie who will feature in the next edition of our ‘LGS Together’ newsletter.

As the days gradually lengthen, I wish you ample moments of brightness and warmth over the weeks ahead.

Best wishes

John Watson