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Principal’s Weekly Update 2 February 2019

As we shiver in the depths of winter, this past week has contained a number of truly heart-warming moments which has reminded us all of the privileged position we hold within the local community and why the teaching profession can be such a rewarding one.

On Monday, I shared the multitude of messages from the Pearson ‘Thank a Teacher’ scheme which ran before the Christmas break and afforded students and parents/carers the opportunity to express their gratitude to individuals or the academy as a whole. My thanks to all those who took the time to nominate staff, your words are very much appreciated. I will share a selection of these comments in the forthcoming Newsletter.

On a similar theme, I was delighted to receive a communication from Cambridge University informing me that Miss Kate Bell, our most-able champion, had been nominated, by ex-student Melissa Quail, for a Cambridge University ‘Inspirational Teacher Award’. The award invites current students at Trinity College to nominate a teacher who has inspired them to aim high and engage more extensively with their subject, in this case mathematics. In their letter to Miss Bell, the college wrote, “We were very touched by the testimonial provided in support of this nomination, and are delighted to award the school £500 in recognition of your contribution, and £75 in book tokens for the nominating student. We realise that the difference you make goes well beyond just the impact it has had on Melissa and that countless other students will have benefitted from your passion and hard work.” Miss Bell will be attending a dinner at Trinity College along with all nominated teachers and students.

At the end of the week, we bade farewell to the visiting Chinese staff and students who have been with us for the past two weeks. During this time, they have experienced life as a Longsands student as well as enjoying a range of wider experiences including visits to Oxford and Cambridge. On a more local level, they have also been bowling and enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea in St Neots. After the students entertained their buddies with their artistic and musical talents, staff members, Bonnie and Olivia, thanked staff and students for the warm welcome which they have received and expressed their appreciation for the rich variety of educational and cultural experiences which their students have enjoyed. As always, it has been a pleasure to host our guests; the students’ behaviour has been impeccable and they have integrated seamlessly into the Longsands community.

Finally, I had the privilege of meeting the Year 7 boys who recently supported the local police in helping a young German girl who was lost and in a distressed state at the skate park. I was delighted to have the opportunity to discuss their experience and present them with a letter commending them for their mature and compassionate behaviour which echoes those values promoted not only by Longsands Academy, but by the wider community as a whole.

Your children are capable of so much, be proud of them.

Martin Paine