“There is no decision more important than determining which school has the enormous responsibility of educating your child. What we offer here at LJS is unique and exciting and will, I am sure, provide the happiest and most caring backdrop imaginable to a life-long love of learning.”Mr Sam Robertson, Head of Laxton Junior School
Both my parents are educators and, having grown up surrounded by the possibilities and opportunities that education inspires, it was no real surprise that, following my degree at the University of Cambridge, I decided to follow in their footsteps and train to be a teacher.
Exciting teaching posts followed in a diverse and wonderful collection of schools in England, Cambodia, Kenya, England (again) and Egypt; during which, I taught children in Prep, Pre-Prep and Primary contexts. Both home and abroad, I have been fortunate to hold a variety of leadership positions, including subject leadership of Science, Computing, Maths and English; being Hsm of a junior boarding house; and three very different deputy headships, which encompassed both academic and pastoral leadership.
Wherever in the world I have taught, one central theme has defined me as an educator: that it was my absolute determination to ensure that the quality of learning and care that I provided to each child resulted, for them, in a lasting love of learning, a happiness borne out of the uniqueness of their individual experience, and academic and personal outcomes that would prepare them for all that life would have in store.
I knew that it was essential to lead a school that valued, as much as I did, the importance of children’s happiness and wellbeing as the foundation for successful learning.
Within moments of my first visit to Laxton Junior School, I knew it was right. Here was a place where children and their experiences matter more than anything else. As I walked down the corridors, I could feel a tangible sense of vibrant endeavour, as happy children embraced the learning opportunities presented to them by teaching staff who so clearly loved every moment of what they do.
The delight is, there is not an average LJS pupil, nor would I want there to be.
Each day, the children arrive, each with a singularly unique outlook on life and learning, each bringing a multitude of extraordinary passions and talents with them. The children will always be the very best thing about LJS.
As a School, however, we are very much united by our five Values and are diven by our School mission. Through the way we teach, interact with each other and the importance we place in the development of these qualities, our children – with all their wonderful individualism – become kind and respectful young people, who care for each other and the world around them, and they develop confidence and resilience, such that no challenge is feared and no failure is final.
"As I walked down the corridors, I could feel a tangible sense of vibrant endeavour, as happy children embraced the learning opportunities presented to them by teaching staff who so clearly loved every moment of what they do."
Phenomenal. It is rare to find a school so packed with teachers and support staff who invest so much into the school’s overarching purpose: to empower the positive development of our children. Staff are passionate about teaching and learning, skilled at adapting the curriculum so that each individual is able to make the best possible progress and hard-working.
More than this though, the staff at LJS form a close-knit community who care for each other and their school and are united by a shared sense of ambition to provide an education much bigger and brighter in quality than the sum of its parts.
In a few years’ time, Claire, my wife, and I will face this very decision, which is easily one of the biggest decisions we make as parents. For my own family, it is an easy decision, with everything that we know of LJS; indeed, there is no school I would rather Maddie, my daughter, to attend.
For prospective parents, of course, it can be a much more challenging task: there is not only a multitude of choice and a bewildering array of factors to consider. My advice would be to visit: meet the Head, hear them talk about their school as well as their vision for the future and, importantly, how your child would fit into this. Look around the school: is it a happy place, do children seem positively engaged in their learning? Above all, trust your instincts: within a short time of being in the school, the people and the place will inform your first impression, and this can be as important as the quality of provision that it offers.
I am in the privileged position to lead Laxton Junior School. With this, comes a huge responsibility to ensure the school continues to be a happy and engaging place for our community and a place that embodies the very best of independent education.
My role is about providing support across the School; this might be empowering the LJS Leadership Team to drive improvements, meeting families who need support and guidance, or teaching children in every class across the school. I enjoy the daily engagement within the LJS community, such as having lunch with the children to hear their daily highlights and challenges, or meeting parents on the playground or sports fields for a chance to discuss and reflect on their experiences.
I consider myself most fortunate. I have a job that I love in a school that prioritises everything I know to be important in education, embodied and delivered by a community who give absolutely everything to ensure that our children learn, achieve and develop in the most wonderful ways imaginable.
We would love to hear from you and it would be my absolute pleasure to give you a tour of our excellent school and discuss all that we could offer both you and your child; I am convinced that the experience will be one that leaves a lasting impression.Visiting LJS