Thankfulness in a topsy-turvy world

I hope that many of us have become more thankful over the last eighteen months for so much that we had previously been inclined to take for granted. Christmas is a time when we traditionally give thanks, and let’s hope this year that we can celebrate with family and friends.

As I reflect on the last term, I am really thankful for all that we have been able to achieve and enjoy. Sports fixtures have resumed in full, there has been an extensive programme of live concerts (without the necessity for perspex), and I am really looking forward to seeing the large-scale production of Oliver! tomorrow. I am very grateful to staff for ensuring a full programme of co-curricular activities; we have seen encouraging levels of participation and lots of fun. There have been further opportunities for charity fundraising, with more pupils wanting to be involved in taking a lead role. And, having been amongst the first in the queue for the 12-15 vaccine, we have been blessed with hardly any Covid cases since half-term and therefore undisrupted learning for most pupils. Nothing beats teaching and learning in person rather than via a screen.

I was away at the end of last week inspecting another school. I often glean some good ideas, but I am always pleased to return to my own school, grateful for the strong sense of aspiration and caring and respectful community for which LGS stands. I was asked by some pupils recently what I enjoyed most about my job. It was an easy answer, as it has been throughout my career: “You lot!” Our children may present us with challenges from time to time (that’s education, after all), but it’s the lively daily interaction and the differences that we see in their understanding and growth as human beings which have always made me thankful to be a teacher. And that is only possible with the teamwork of colleagues who share a common goal and common values.

So, a special ‘thank-you’ to you, our parents, for your support this term and, above all, for entrusting us with your children’s education at the most formative time of their life. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously and will do our best to fulfil.

At a beautiful Junior School Christingle service at the cathedral on Wednesday, we gave thanks for the birth of Jesus, with suspended upside-down Christmas trees signifying God’s gift to the topsy-turvy world in which we live currently. I hope that, whatever your beliefs, you and family will enjoy a festive and peaceful Christmas, surrounded by love, as well as a bright New Year.

Best wishes,

John Watson