Loughborough High School is an 11 to 18 school of approximately 600 day girls with a large Sixth Form numbering above 170. At the High School we aim to provide an excellent academic education in a caring atmosphere.
LOUGHBOROUGH PUPILS SHINE IN SOLD OUT PERFORMANCE OF ICONIC WEST END SHOW
Pupils from Loughborough Schools Foundation have wowed more than 1,400 spectators in a week of sold out performances of the West End classic, Les Misérables.
10th March 2020 — More than 100 pupils from across the Foundation joined together to perform the iconic musical in Loughborough Grammar School’s Hodson Hall, as part of the School’s 525th anniversary celebrations.
The Grammar School has a close history with the musical after they made what is believed to be the biggest block-booking for a West End show in 1995 during the school’s 500th anniversary celebrations. Occupying all 1,500 seats of the Palace Theatre, they made a big impression on the cast, especially when antagonist Inspector Javert was loudly booed by the boys at the curtain call.
As the School’s anniversary year of celebrations commenced, it was thought to be quite fitting to pay homage to the show.
Commenting on staging the production Sally Bruton, Head of Drama, at Loughborough Grammar School, said Les Mis was a fitting choice of production. She said:
“Les Misérables is a huge show. With the anniversary, performance space and a cast, crew and orchestra of over 100 students from three schools performing to an audience of 1400 people, it was quite a daunting prospect.
“That being said, the popularity of Les Mis meant that many of the cast were already familiar with the production, plot and all of the intricacies of its themes before the first rehearsal. The amazing technicians, estates, compliance, networking and catering departments worked hard to make the logistics happen whilst the hours of practice by the orchestra of Loughborough Schools Music and the team of technical students and staff backstage, all added to this amazing production.
“The sell out of the show created a massive buzz around campus, and the hard work of those involved created a real joy of theatre. It was such pleasure working on this project, and seeing these young men and women grow into their roles, bond as a team and create the epic saga.”
2020 marks the 525th anniversary of Loughborough Grammar School following its founding in 1495 by Thomas Burton, a local wool merchant who left endowments for the teaching of boys in his will. George Davys, a tutor to Queen Victoria, Johnnie Johnson, RAF flying ace, and Sir Thomas Abney, the first Governor of the Bank of England are listed amongst its alumni.
Speaking about the anniversary and schedule of celebrations Duncan Byrne, Headmaster of Loughborough Grammar School said:
“The programme of events is designed to celebrate the rich and varied education that the Grammar School has long stood for and it is a pleasure to share these events with current and past pupils, parents and the local community.”
To find out more about the events planned for Loughborough Grammar School’s 525th anniversary, please visit www.lsf.org/525
Music department launches composing competition for local children's hospice
The Music department at Loughborough Schools Foundation have recently launched a Sensory Music Composing Competition which invites budding composers to create pieces of music that can be used to accompany sensory stimulation for young people.
11th February 2020 — Musicians are being encouraged to compose pieces that encapsulate a sonic imagination of objects such as chopsticks, bubble wrap, feathers and space blankets alongside the ability for the piece to musically accompany the playing of the sensory object. The winner of the competition will have their piece selected to be used as part of ongoing music therapy sessions for young people at Rainbows Children's Hospice.
The competition was launched by the Loughborough Schools Foundation Music department following a powerful and moving talk from Music Therapist, Rosie Robinson who spoke about the challenges and joys of music therapy as a career, the nature of the music therapy that she offers to the children and young adults in her care, and to demonstrate some of the unusual musical instruments that aids her work.
Rainbows Children’s Hospice, who are also based in Loughborough, provide vital care and support to families impacted by life-limiting conditions.
Music Therapist, Rosie Robinson explained that “music therapy is an important part of what we offer at Rainbows as every child or young person can access music in some form. Sometimes this can be through listening, creating our own sounds together or even song writing and composing. Music is a universal language that doesn’t require verbal ability and everyone can make and respond to sounds in some way. This can give the children and young people a voice and a means of expression. It’s also a fabulous way to connect and have fun as a family and to off load from often very challenging situations. “
More information on the Sensory Music Composition Competition including how to apply be found at: https://lsf.org/whats-on/sensory-music-composing-competition
LOUGHBOROUGH GRAMMAR KICKS OFF 525TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
Loughborough Grammar School pupils and staff have launched the start of a year of celebrations marking the school’s 525th anniversary.
22nd January 2020 — Local residents are encouraged to attend a series of events which are planned over the course of 2020, including a Heritage Open Weekend, History Display in Loughborough Town Library, and a prestigious Lecture Series featuring eminent alumni and Loughborough University’s most famous student, legendary Olympian Lord Sebastian Coe.
Founded in 1495 by Thomas Burton, a local wool merchant who left endowments for the teaching of boys in his will, the Grammar School lists Rev. George Davys, a tutor to Queen Victoria, Johnnie Johnson, RAF flying ace, and Sir Thomas Abney, the first Governor of the Bank of England amongst its alumni.
Professor Rachel Thomson, Professor of Materials Engineering and Pro Vice Chancellor for Teaching at Loughborough University will kick off the Foundation Lecture Series on 4 February at Loughborough Schools Foundation.
Her lecture will look at the ‘future of the motor car’, how technology will impact future cars and discuss the potential and drawbacks of electric and autonomous vehicles.
Eminent alumni of the Grammar School will also be contributing to the lecture series. QC, James Flynn will be highlighting the legal consequences of Brexit on 27 February, while prize-winning historical novelist, Giles Kristian, will be talking about his literary career in March.
Speaking at the launch of the 525th anniversary celebrations, Duncan Byrne, the 35th headmaster of the Grammar School, explained that he was honoured to lead the school on an historic day. He said:
“It is a great pleasure to celebrate the start of our 525th anniversary celebrations which are an opportunity to give thanks to all those who have translated the foresight of the school’s benefactor Thomas Burton into a lasting legacy, not only for the Foundation but also for the town of Loughborough as a whole.
“The programme of events is designed to celebrate the rich and varied education the Grammar School has long stood for and it will be a pleasure to share these events with all, including current and past pupils, parents and the local community.
“This landmark anniversary also provides a welcome opportunity to look ahead to the future as we build on the traditions and heritage established since 1495 to create the next chapter for our school community.”
Dates for the diary – Foundation Lecture Series
● 4 February – Professor Rachel Thomson, ‘The Future of the Motor Car’.
● 27 February – James Flynn, QC, After the Break: United Kingdom law, EU law and Brexit.
● 24 March – Giles Kristian, How to be a writer: the long and winding road to creativity.
● 5 May – Professor John Dickie, “Why do the Italians eat so well?” – A History of Italian Cooking.
● 22 September – Professor Andrew Thompson, Nelson Mandela on Robben Island – Do political prisoners have human rights? If so, who should protect them now?
● 4 November – Rt Rev Mark Tanner, What is a Healthy Community in the 21st Century?
● 14 December - Lord Sebastian Coe, The 2012 Olympics and its Legacy
To find out more about the events planned for Loughborough Grammar School’s 525th anniversary and to book tickets for the Lecture Series, please visit www.lsf.org/525
Loughborough Grammar School Welcomes Chinese Exchange Students
For the past three weeks, Loughborough Grammar School has played host to four boys as part of an exchange programme.
10th December 2019 — Jierui, Renqi, Qizhe and Junhe from Confucius International School in Qingdao, China, hoped to experience life in a British school and to learn about the country’s traditions and cultures. Whilst they were here, each boy was hosted by a Grammar School boy and their family.
During school days, the four boys spent their time joining their hosts, Thomas, Brady, Alec and Don in a variety of different lessons; their favourites being Mathematics and Design and Technology; sampling the School lunches and playing sports such as Hockey, which they had never experienced before.
Outside of school hours, the hosts took the Chinese boys to London and Cambridge to visit the tourist hotspots. They also visited more local attractions, such as an ice hockey game at the Nottingham Panthers, the Nottingham Christmas Markets and some of the boys even ran the Loughborough Santa Fun Run!
Jierui, Renqi, Qizhe and Junhe have said they enjoyed their time here very much, citing that the food and the weather were the biggest differences – it seemed unfortunately cold and rainy for the majority of their visit!
In the next phase of the Chinese exchange programme, Thomas, Brady, Alec and Don will visit China in August to stay with Jierui, Renqi, Qizhe and Junhe and gain an insight into the Chinese way of life and culture. They hope to be able to visit Shanghai and Beijing while they are there.
On behalf of Thomas, Brady, Alec, Don, their families, Loughborough Grammar School and Loughborough Schools Foundation, we hope that Jierui, Renqi, Qizhe and Junhe thoroughly enjoyed their time here and we wish them good luck for the future.
The hot topic in education right now is students’ mental health and wellbeing and how schools can help pupils become more resilient and adaptable.
27th September 2019 — Evidence now supports what teachers already knew: that activities outside of the classroom positively affect students’ wellbeing, increase resilience and help students cope with the pressures of examinations.
At Loughborough Grammar School, we have known this for many years. Following my appointment as our first-ever Assistant Head Co-Curricular in 2016, I introduced the Thomas Burton Award (named after our founder) as a framework to develop rounded, healthy individuals and to encourage all boys to participate in school activities.
The Thomas Burton Award has three strands: Head, Hands and Heart.
· Head: intellectual endeavour beyond the confines of examinations.
· Hands: non-academic interests such as sport and the creative arts.
· Heart: community activities, such as volunteering and charity work.
Additionally, every year, all boys must take to the stage, set themselves a challenge and complete an extended independent project to ensure they value and develop all elements of their personality and not pigeonhole themselves into a ‘type’.
We also wanted to see if we could measure a correlation between boys’ participation and wellbeing. As a school, we find some parents want their child to stop playing football or drop music lessons, so they can better ‘focus on exams’, but we see time and again how those pupils often suffer the most strain. Conversely the busiest pupils are highly successful in balancing their commitments and learn to take the extra work load and stress in their stride.
For four years, we have conducted a termly wellbeing survey to get a snapshot of our pupils and identify any that need intervention. We use the simple 14-question Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) survey to track the happiness of classes and year groups. We then compared boys’ scores with their involvement in extra-curricular activities both in- and outside school. The answer was clear: the pupils with the most robust wellbeing consistently are more committed to extra-curricular activities.
Similarly, we examined the questionnaires to identify what boys did beyond the classroom that had the greatest effect on wellbeing, and what specifically made them happy or unhappy. Conclusively, in all year groups we discovered that some things had the greatest impact on wellbeing:
· trying something new
· enjoying meaningful face-to-face interaction (rather than being stuck behind technology!)
· understanding the greater world around them.
Caveats and next steps
Yes, our homemade survey has limitations, but it has been enormously useful in our care of the boys. Now, we teach boys to ‘self-medicate’ when they struggle by trying something new or by finding situations for more meaningful face-to-face interactions. Our ban on phones during the school day has also helped with this.
We have also improved the quality and quantity of whole-school enrichment days. For instance, at the end of the summer term, the school did 1,000 hours of voluntary service for the local community precisely so that boys could experience interaction with others.
And for parents, we provide a reassuring environment in which their children can experiment with activities and experiences to become both well-rounded individuals and happy in themselves, more able to cope with the stresses of modern life.
Of course, our results do not prove that extra-curricular experiences create personal happiness, but the level of correlation is enough for us to pursue the Thomas Burton Award at Loughborough Grammar School because we believe that if our boys just leave school with good grades, we have let them down.
Dr Al Waters
Assistant Head (Co-Curricular)
For more information about Loughborough Grammar School, please visit: www.lsf.org/grammar