From the Headmaster's Desk

New and old. Be it a New Year, looking back on what has past, or considering what we can do to improve for the future, the first few weeks of a new term are ripe with opportunity. Throughout the school, the boys and girls of Lyonsdown have been persevering in their work, and I was delighted to hand out so many merits this week that focused on hard work and doing one’s best.

Shoes, fiction, school books: my assembly on Monday showcased a variety of “classic” items that the children compared with those that were brand new. It is safe to say that the boys and girls were less impressed by my old hiking boots than my new leather shoes and were amazed that my school books had stood the test of time. Pupils then reflected upon those parts of their school life that they would like to improve. Examples ranged from persevering in English and Maths, to learning lines for a play or picking up a new musical instrument. We also discussed how one cannot achieve something new without the experience or knowledge that has gone before – we reap what we sow. For a (very literal) example of this, one of the highlights of my week was in the Dining Room on Wednesday, when we all had the pleasure of eating the cabbage that Year 6 planted in the Autumn Term.

The week ended with 2F’s wonderful assembly. There were many fantastic elements to their piece on significant people in history, but it was the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton that stood out for me. Famous for rescuing his entire crew when his Antarctic Expedition failed, the tale of how the crew of the Endurance persevered in the face of adversity is inspirational. I am not saying that the likes of Shackleton, Shakespeare, Bronte or Lovelace are our greatest Britons, but it is important that pupils recognise that everyone, even those who are now deemed to be great have failed at one point or another. The lesson, as always, is that consistent effort is one of the most important factors in achieving our goals.

All the best for a relaxing weekend.

C. Hammond