Reflections 2017: Mark Wallace – An education for life with a truly global outlook

This has been another incredibly busy and successful calendar year at Lincoln Minster School (LMS).

Pupils and staff, have once again, thrown themselves into school life and worked together to produce some astonishing achievements.

We have had some wonderful sporting accolades, both individually and collectively, and I think it is fair to say that our level of performance as a co-educational school is becoming the envy of many.

What makes me most proud with regard to our sport is the way in which we have played. Of course, we want to be competitive and win, however sport at LMS is more than just about a good win/loss ratio – it is about helping each other develop the right instincts and characteristics that will see us well later in life.

The same is true of the artistic side of school life, which continues to flourish. The word ‘participation’ springs to mind with staff allowing and giving opportunities to all levels of talent in art exhibitions, drama productions and music concerts. What you learn from these experiences cannot be measured in terms of academic grades, but will be just as important as the academic grades pupils will achieve here, and not, I hasten to add, in spite of these co-curricular experiences but rather, because of them.

Another stand out for me, and what was commented on during our recent ISI inspection, has been the sense of togetherness and connectedness that links staff, parents and pupils. Here, there is a real sense of a shared journey and ambition, underpinned by a caring and nurturing environment. The ‘feel’ of a school is not something that can be manufactured. It comes from the shared values and the way pupils, parents and staff support each other.

As we move into 2018, we will continue to develop our awareness of the school locally, regionally and overseas and showcase Lincoln as a city of excellence for its educational provision.

We will be working with Visit Lincoln, City of Lincoln Council, Lincolnshire County Council, University of Lincoln, Bishop Grosseteste University and The EBP to raise the profile of the city’s offering.

This connectectivity is so important and aligns two areas of national debate in education – globalisation and partnerships between schools and universities. It is exciting that Lincoln Minster School is at the forefront of these two very exciting areas of development. Certainly, having international students as part of our school community is a real strength as it adds to our cultural diversity, thus giving all of our students the opportunity to learn more from each other.

I also want to utilise LMS for wider community access and we have developed a number of partnerships so that this can be possible. We successfully hosted the Select Lincolnshire Food Awards again in October and we will look forward to hosting 2018’s awards as well.

Always at the heart of what we do will be our pupils and their academic, social and wider school participation. We offer an ‘Education for Life’ and our aim is to develop our pupils’ life and soft skills, their character education as well as their opportunities both inside and outside the classroom.

2018 will also see the school develop its ICT strategy for mobile technology in classrooms which will support and enhance classroom teaching and learning.

Being part of and leading such a strong community is a privilege. I am thankful to our wonderful pupils, parents, colleagues, governors and the wider school community for the opportunity to be a part of all we do. I wish everyone a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas and an exciting 2018.