Literacy drives everything we do in life. So often though, as we grow up, the pull of the screen outweighs the pull of the page. At LECA we're doing lots to promote literacy and the spoken word and this week demonstrated that in abundance. From Monday to Thursday we were visited by bestselling authors who specialise in the Young Adult (YA) audience, as part of the Pop Up Literacy Project. They were: Non Pratt - who spoke about her novel 'Truth or Dare'; Catherine Johnson who wrote 'Sawbones'; Bali Rai who wrote 'The Harder They Fall' and finally on Thursday, Richard Kurti who wrote 'Maladapted'. Four very different authors and styles but all inspiring people - the workshops were superb. Thank you to Mrs Radcliffe for organising the project and the workshops. This is the second year running we have taken part and I'm sure it will become something we do every year to promote the love of reading and writing.

Inside the classrooms, the focus was clearly on revision for the upcoming final assessments. But we all know it doesn't just happen in the classrooms. Success in exams takes commitment, independence and pure hard work. That's why when I dropped into the LRC at lunchtime on Thursday I couldn't help but smile. Two Year 7 students had found a quiet space and taken over a table to revise. Their classbooks were piled up around them and they were busying themselves making notes and talking things over.  It was fantastic to see but that wasn't all. At the computers, students from both year groups were busy revising online. Nearly all of them were on SAM Learning and occasionally there was the odd outburst as one student overtook the other on the LECA SAM Learning Leaderboard. SAM has been a resounding success since we rolled it out, with students not only completing homework on the system but taking it upon themselves to consolidate their learning if they feel they haven't quite 'got it' in class. Every single student in the school has accessed it with many of them racking up huge amounts of learning hours outside the classroom. Well done to all of you and if you haven't been on for while, now is the perfect time.

Aside from assessments, this week we welcome Paige Smeaton from Corpus Christi, University of Cambridge to speak to Year 8 about university life. This is another opportunity for our students to reflect on their futures and, more importantly, aspire to attend one of the world's greatest universities. Too often students just don't believe they can but so often they are wrong! People from all walks of life attend Cambridge and Oxford and we believe that in a few years time students from LECA will go there too. It comes back to being inspired, working hard and focusing on the ultimate goal. So many people have done that and succeeded, no matter what the odds, and we will do everything we can to support those students who have this as their goal.

Good luck to all of the students in the assessments this week and next and remember that a step forward, no matter how small, is still a step in the right direction.

 

Scott Gaskins

Head of School, LECA