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Headmaster's Address

Curiosity Week

We have had great success recently in the Cambridge Classical Association online Greek and Latin reading competition.

Catherine R was first in the Senior Greek Verse competition

Austyn J was second in Senior Greek Verse.

Eloise G was second in the Intermediate Latin Verse competition.

They have been awarded book tokens as prizes with which I would be delighted to present them – those three to come forward, please.

Whilst on academic matters I would also like to mention two initiatives which are coming up – one after half-term, and one this week.

Later in the term, just after half-term, we will once again be running the Academic Showcase: this is an opportunity for every pupil in Year 7, 8 and 9 to display a piece of work of which they are particularly proud.  We will then invite visitors including parents to come and view the collected and collective efforts of our pupils and we will use this also as an opportunity to celebrate the outcome of our recent ISI Inspection, because the report will by that point be in the public arena.

And finally, I know that some pupils in Chapel last night noticed that our visiting preacher, our great friend, the Reverend Jen Smith from Wesley’s Chapel, mentioned in her sermon the importance of curiosity, and this linked nicely to my challenge to all of you in my beginning of term assembly last week to display what I referred to as “the three Cs” this term: Kindness, Compassion and Curiosity.

This week sees a new initiative for Year 9: ‘Curiosity Week’.  The idea is to encourage all our Year 9 pupils to explore and engage with opportunities for academic and cultural enrichment outside the classroom. We want to focus on our Year 9 cohort specifically to ensure that they involve themselves as fully as possible in the academic and cultural aspects of school life.  We also thought that the start of a new term and indeed a new calendar year seems like an ideal opportunity to encourage some great new habits and this initiative will be followed up in tutor time.

The events which our Year 9s could attend or get involved with might include:

  • The debate in school this week,
  • Academic Society,
  • An academic talk,
  • Play, or Drama Event,
  • Taking a book out of the library,
  • Visiting a gallery/museum and taking a photo of themselves with their favourite piece/exhibit/artefact

We will be providing pupils with cards to tick off indicating what they have done. These will be checked in Houses and incentives and prizes will be available! The Leave Weekend on Saturday 21- Sunday 22 January might also provide an opportunity for a museum or gallery/theatre visit.

We hope that this initiative will lead to some fruitful discussion not just at school but also at home about ways in which pupils can be academically and culturally curious, but I would say that whilst this is specifically aimed at Year 9 on this occasion, it’s an idea I would recommend to all of you: The Leys is a place rich with opportunity, and so too is this extraordinary city of Cambridge – so be curious, and make the most of the many opportunities right here at your fingertips, or on your doorstep.