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The importance of finding the balance

& sharpening the saw

After one of the most frenetic periods of time I can ever remember in my entire teaching career it is with enormous relief for every single person involved in the Y11 and Y13 school assessments that we have reached half term.

I want to put on public record my huge admiration for the enormous efforts that every single member of staff, all of the students and the parents have gone through in order to help everyone cross the finish line. It has been a spectacular, collaborative effort and I am especially proud of the way in which students in Y11 and Y13 have handled this crisis in such an adult, mature and responsible way.

For the rest of us half term stretches before us and I would urge everyone to embrace Dr Stephen R.Covey's final piece of advice in his book '7 Habits'. That final 7th Habit is referred to as 'sharpening the saw' and was inspired by America's 16th President Abraham Lincoln. Both refer to the pointlessness of trying to cut down a tree with a blunt saw. In essence the 'saw' they are referring to is 'you' and the importance of being able to re-balance; re-charge; re-energise; refresh so you can ultimately refocus on the task in hand.

For Covey that doesn't mean X Box or Playstation [although it is a part of it] instead he means finding time to recharge your mind through hobbies or interests; your body through rest, gentle exercise; your spirit through helping others or reading inspirational works; your heart by bonding with others. For Covey it is re-charging each of these four key aspects of our common humanity - mind; body; heart and spirit - that produces the most powerful renewal.

Looking ahead there are a few key updates to remind everyone of:

  1. Sports Hall building works start on the 1st June for the next 12 months and all of us should expect disruption during this period of time in different ways as deliveries arrive; building work commences; lorries have to access the site, and we lose the main field for the next 2 years as it gets a serious upgrade.

  2. Summer Exams 9th - 16th June COVID has given us the opportunity to rearrange our internal examination into this new whole school window. These important examinations will help provide us with the first formal whole school assessments of all students, their progress under our KEVIGS Online model and how these results compare to previous years; how much learning has been lost; how significant this loss actually is, and what we will need to do to support students next year.

  3. Y9, Y10 and Y12 are back to full time lessons on site from after half term.

  4. COVID Review. As promised we intend to keep COVID and our school adjustments under active review. Governors will be meeting again in the first week back after half term to consider what if any alterations we will make to these arrangements in the light of the local, regional and national picture at that time.

  5. Y11 & Y13 Evidence Signing Morning - details have gone out to students about using the morning of Saturday 12th June for students to come onto site and sign off their evidence bundles.

  6. Y11 & Y13 Final Assemblies; Group Photographs; Breakfast and Ice Cream in addition to the above we have also managed to incorporate final celebration assemblies for both year groups and the provision of an outdoor 'food court' in the Newton Cages with Ice Cream vans; Candy Floss; Doughnuts and other food vans plus the provision of a couple of stages and photographers so students can take some final friendship group photographs.

  7. Summer Term Cabaret - 'shhhh....' we are also in the process of being super optimistic and trying to piece together a Summer Term Cabaret to show case the many talents of our current students but also those who are leaving us. The working title is 'The First, Final Show'.....more details to follow.

Phew.....time to go and 'sharpen the saw' and rebalance in preparation for a busy Term 6.

Enjoy the break everyone.

James Lascelles


King Edward VI Grammar

Louth LN11 9LL

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