As the saying goes: 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step'. Never has this been more true with the journey of students through secondary school. Each step on their journey brings them closer to those final exams and the beginning of a new journey when they leave. But exams are not the only reason students come to school: school is a place where students have hundreds of opportunities walk into the unknown and it's all about whether they decide take those steps. This week three sets of students did just that.

On Monday morning our Aim Higher group arrived at LECA with bags packed and more than a little anxiety about what they would face in the wilds of the Brecon Beacons. Over the week we received pictures and messages showing and telling us what the girls had been up to. It looked absolutely beautiful there and thankfully the weather was kind all week so they could get out on the water, climb through caves and even jump off cliffs! What an experience for all of them but more important are the factors you can't photograph or even describe - the growth in determination and resilience in the group and those little moments where some of them had to conquer their fears and just get on with it. This is really what the trip was about and talking to the girls when they arrived back on Friday, it was a huge success. Thank you to Kim Sewell and her team from Aim Higher for taking the girls and looking after them so well. We look forward to building our partnership even further as the years go on.

Then, on Saturday, the law group travelled to Mansfield for the regional heat of the Mock Magistrates Trial competition, essentially a semi-final to find 2 winners to go through to the final in London. In December last year it's fair to say the group knew virtually nothing about the mechanics of a courtroom trial or even the roles played by the different professionals in the room. That first step seemed tough: learning the roles, understanding how to question and cross-examine, understanding the nuances of the law the various interpretations of it in any given case, knowing how to be an effective witness. It seemed like a mountain to climb but somehow this group put it all together and presented their cases to win the local heat in March. In Mansfield they did exactly the same having worked hard on a tight timescale to get speeches and questions finished in time. This time, though, it was not to be and for a while in the bus going home it was dead quiet as everyone reflected on what happened. For me, though, it was huge success. This team had stepped forward and tasted success and I know they will want to go again next year and do even better. Congratulations to all of you and thank you to everyone who sent messages of support in both heats, we really appreciated it. 

Finally, Year 7 stepped in the foreboding grounds of Framlingham Castle on Friday with over 70 students descending into Suffolk for a day of historic discovery. Again the weather was kind and I'm sure this trip will become a firm favourite in the years to come. An added element to the trip was a range of activities including some photography which will feed into our Arts Mark  - a great example of cross-curricular planning from Mrs Eastham, our History lead, and Mrs Way who leads in Art. Thank you to all the staff who supported the trip at Framlingham and to the staff who supported back at LECA. 

 

Scott Gaskins

Head of School, LECA