When students first join us in September we talk to them about a number elements at LECA which are part of our USP. The first one is the the word 'yet'. 'Yet' is our favourite word. It gives hope; it gives a sense of us being on a journey (are we there yet?); it sets up the next moment of progress. We accept that students can't do something straight away and set them up to get it right on the next attempt. Or the next one. Or the next one. As Samuel Beckett once wrote: 'Ever failed. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.' When students say 'I can't do it' we just say 'Yet.' Now more than ever is this important and we ask our parents to help us us embed this 'never give up', winning mentality at home. It will work if we all do it.
Another word we talk about in detail is INSPIRED. It's capitalised at LECA because it's so important and also because each of the letters are the beginning of a word or phrase that embodies what we expect from our students. These are shown below and are part of the everyday 'diet' for our students. We reward them with INSPIRED points on Go; we refer to being INSPIRED when talking about behaviour; we strive to be INSPIRED with our teaching and the opportunities we offer them.
N ever give up
S olution Focussed
P rogress Driven
As teachers our aim is to inspire the next generation and at LECA our aim is that all students demonstrate all the positive attributes shown above. If they do, not only will they give themselves the best chance possible to succeed at school but they will be stronger people. They will be resilient and if we build resilience now they will always have it.
Last week we rewarded resilience and determination with a little surprise for Year 10. On Thursday at 8.30am Mr Mortlock read out a list of 25 names and told them to stay in the dining hall while the rest when up to tutor time. Their faces dropped as they feared they'd done something wrong. How wrong they were! These students had stayed off the progress tracker for the whole of the first half term. This means they had kept up to date with all their classwork, coursework and homework for seven weeks and were indeed INSPIRED students. Their reward: breakfast on us including croissants, bacon rolls and tea and coffee. It was lovely to see their frowns change to smiles in that moment and this week the next group will join us. 50 students (nearly half the cohort) managed to steer clear of the tracker last half term showing how resilient and determined they are. A huge well done to all of them. They are all INSPIRED.
Finally I'd like to say thank you. Thank you to my staff for all their work in these difficult times. None of us want to operate like this and we want desperately to be back to 'normal'. That time will come so we must remain positive and be INSPIRED, just like our students. Thank you also to our parents. We know some of the circumstances your children are working in are frustrating and seem unfair. It will change. As soon as the guidance changes we will review all of our systems and do everything we can to return to normal operations. This will take time but please be assured we will act swiftly to restore normality as soon as we can. Lastly, thank you to our students. You have been incredible since you've come back and you need to trust us to do the right thing to keep you safe while the pandemic is still around. It will get better and as soon as LECA can bring back normal classes and assemblies and all the fun stuff, we will. Keep going and strive to be INSPIRED every day.