This is the final blog of the academic year - one that, in equal doses, we want to remember and forget! When we remember things we often create details or forget details. We focus on the 'peaks' and these create a distorted memory. For example, if you go to Alton Towers, the chances are you won't remember the mini tantrum from your tired child or the small fortune you spent on photos and gifts or that it rained on and off all day. You will, however, definitely remember the nervous excitement of climbing onto the Nemesis and the thrill of the Congo River Rapids and the adventure of the Black Hole. In your brain, these will be the moments at the forefront and it will become a great memory. This this year wasn't all about the coronavirus. We had 7 months of school before that and looking back we did achieve some great things together before we had to close.
Year 7 transitioned brilliantly. We had some wobbles and some took longer to settle than others but overall we had so many success stories. Trust takes time and some students take longer to trust us and believe that we have their best interests at heart. I think most of them believe us now - no names will be mentioned but they know who they are. To you I want to say thank you - thank you for testing us and for trusting us! And let's not forget those who took it all in their stride - you're amazing and you'll be brilliant Year 8s and role models to the new 7s.
Year 8 really came into their own this year. It happens at schools - when they're suddenly not the youngest year group anymore they stand that little bit taller and show that little bit more maturity. We have an outstanding Year 8 who will be brilliant in Year 9 too. They are funny and bright and we really enjoy their company. We're looking forward to guiding them through their options next year and hopefully we won't be interrupted again!
Year 9 have had a very strange year but let's not forget the achievements of the Duke of Edinburgh teams and the Law Team and the sports teams - especially the netballers. What a determined and resilient lot they are. They have chosen their options without the face-to-face guidance they should have received. They have completed GCSE work without stepping into a classroom since March 23rd. That takes a special kind of resolve so a massive well done to all of you too.
End of term in schools nearly always signals staff departures. This year we say a very sad goodbye to Mrs Middleton who has led the way in Maths throughout the year. Mrs Middleton came to LECA for a 'final adventure before retirement'. I took to Cate immediately - we share the same values in education and we chatted frequently about the students and their experience in school. This is so important to her; it isn't just about Maths, it's about how the students feel and how to make them happy. She loves to see students enjoying their learning and buzzing with excitement when that penny drops. Cate facilitated this style of learning every lesson. I've dropped into many of her lessons and frankly they look chaotic! But when you scratch the surface (and you do have to) what you see is visible learning. They are problem solving, they are creating, they are applying the theory, they are talking. Talking in a Maths class! That's my kind of lesson. We will genuinely miss Mrs Middleton. She is a true one-off and one of the most generous human beings I've ever met. I know the staff and students will miss you too. Cate, I hope you've enjoyed your adventure at LECA and we look forward to hearing about your next exciting adventure in the coming months.
As I said last week, please encourage your children to enrich their learning with something completely new this week. It would have been Activity Week so it's not the time for school work, it's time to experience something different. This is your permission to close your laptops, get outside, learn a new skill or visit somewhere inspiring! The highlight of my week was receiving a video of Leah who has taken the opportunity to learn Greek dancing. Wow! She has learnt some really intricate moves and has shown exactly what we mean by never giving up and resilience. Well done Leah - you've set the bar high and I hope others will send pictures and videos over this coming week.
Thank you all for all your amazing support this year. We (us, students and parents) are a great team and we will go from strength to strength next year as we recover from this setback. Hopefully when our Year 11s pick up their exam results in a couple of years time, they won't remember the dip of 2020, they will remember the hundreds of peaks that they've had a long the way.
Take care, enjoy the summer and we'll see you again in September.
Head of School, LECA