Join us today in celebrating the Latymer Community and giving our Thanks during our annual Foundation Day!
Foundation Day is always an important milestone each year, where we show our gratitude for the wisdom, generosity and commitment from Edward Latymer and his almost 400-year old legacy. Foundation Day also provides students, staff and guests alike an opportunity to reflect on what makes Latymer so special and our school’s bright future ahead.
Despite the current Covid-19 crisis, we wanted to find a way to celebrate our amazing Latymer Community. We are all missing our students and colleagues, which is why we decided to go digital and bring the Foundation Day to your house!
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to our special “Giving Thanks” Foundation Day this year. If you’d like to add your own “Giving Thanks” message, please send your text or video to Beatrice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I took over as Chair of the Latymer Foundation last December, little did I think that I would spend my first Foundation Day in lockdown and with the school closed to all but a handful of pupils. This has however provided a chance to reflect on just how far we have come since Edward Latymer’s generous legacy nearly 400 years ago. I wonder whether he ever envisaged founding one of the top co-educational state secondary schools in the country with 1,300 pupils and 179 staff.
But of course, we must also remember the amazing contributions of other donors over the years (including many current parents and former pupils) whose generosity has helped us to maintain and build on the legacy of excellence despite pressure on the school budget due to government’s budget cuts and increase in costs. In recent years, notwithstanding “austerity”, the Latymer Foundation has been able to support the school with many things, such as:
- Refurbishing the Sixth Form area to include more computer facilities and a brand new café.
- Upgrading Wi-Fi facilities throughout the school to enable students to access study support outside of lessons much faster.
- Providing 3D printers in Technology, which have helped not only our students but also during the current Covid-19 crisis.
- Repairing the school’s heating system this winter, which meant we lost just one day of teaching.
The next few months will pose new challenges to the Head Teacher and her team, as well as to pupils and their parents, as lessons are delivered remotely, studying takes place at home and people support each other through these difficult times. We thank everyone for their efforts to maintain our high standards and think of those who have lost loved ones to the virus. We don’t know what the “new normal” will look like as we emerge from Covid-19 but we do know that, with the help of the whole Latymer community, the school can emerge stronger than ever! I thank you in advance for your continuing support.
We also extend our thanks and good wishes to members of staff who will be leaving us shortly, whether through retirement or new career opportunities. To you, and also to Year 13 pupils, we say “thank you, good luck and please keep in touch!”.
Finally, on a personal note, I would share one small example of enduring friendships within the Latymer community. For a number of years, my wife and I have been meeting regularly with some of my Latymer friends and we have recently been joined by another school friend who has returned to the UK after a career in the US. His Canadian wife was so thrilled that these friendships still endured after several decades that she kindly presented each of us with some photos from the first meal which she joined. We are currently “zooming” with Los Angeles rather than dining together. I wonder what Edward Latymer would have made of that!
We are facing an unprecedented situation marked by great instability. In this context, preserving the health of everyone, students, staff, and parents, alumni while adapting our work practices to support students, is our top priority. I was reminded of this yesterday whilst talking to a parent who asked how we all were. By this she meant how were we all coping, were we healthy, were we safe? Whilst at times I worry about how well the students learning is going, I ask myself, will the exam results make sure every student gets where they need to be next year? Her words were a reminder that this will not last forever and actually us being healthy has to be the top priority. We will get back to normal, we will get back to the classroom, we will be sat in the Exam Hall next summer but only if we keep ourselves safe.
Yes, life is difficult at the moment but if we work together as a team of staff, students and parents, our school will survive and be a stronger community as a result. We are also endeavouring to channel the community spirit of Edward Latymer in our efforts to help the Coronavirus crisis. Edward Latymer founded The Latymer School to use his privilege to help those around him, “the eight poore boies of Edmonton”. Whilst we may be experiencing our own difficulties with learning from home, not seeing our friends and colleagues, we at Latymer also acknowledge that we are in the privileged position to be able to help the wider community in these unprecedented times. We are endeavouring to do this by creating PPE in our design technology classrooms, giving away the goggles in our science labs and donating the sanitary products from our toilets.
Everything is not perfect at the moment but for me these moments reveal, more than ever, the importance of being united to keep moving forward. Together we are stronger!
Amira looks back in fondness at the amazing musical opportunities she, and so many other students, have had at Latymer.
Mia and Aliyah give us a great overview of all the wonderful results our various Sports teams have had in the past year, whilst reminding us all to stay active and fit during this Covid-19 crisis!
It seems both a very long time ago and, at the same time, somehow only yesterday that I was a Latymer student. Like many students, I think my parents (particularly my mother, as a Latymerian herself) were more excited about my getting a place than I was! While I was there, it was just school, like every other school kid.
However, looking back, I now know that what I felt were somewhat average results were actually a decent set of grades, courtesy of the skills and knowledge Latymer had given me. But more than that, my time at Latymer had also shaped my politics, tastes (particularly in theatre, film and music) and, most of all, introduced me to the mountains of Britain. These foundations gave me the confidence, and what is now known as cultural capital, to successfully interact and network throughout my career, and be creative and engage with the arts across a wide spectrum. I went on to a successful career in the IT sector, whilst undertaking Mountain Leader training and volunteering with young people. It was the Latymer community, through high aspiration, inspirational teachers and the diverse and talented peers I was with, that gave me the tools underpinning any achievements I have since made.
As an alumni, it’s not just the qualifications you leave Latymer with that count. You leave as an individual with a broad cultural experience, a wide skillset and the courage to grasp opportunities as they arise, as well as many life-long friends.
I am very proud to be Chair of Governors, proud of the school’s achievements and grateful to the dedicated and hardworking staff that support the students. As Chair I have learned what goes into making Latymer work, not just great teaching and an excellent community spirit, but what it takes to keep the school functioning and deal with the issues of educational funding and a century-old building. Latymer continues to deliver a world-class education full of cultural capital, whilst still reaching out to the community and supporting local primary schools to continue the legacy of Edward Latymer and give educational opportunities to disadvantaged children in Edmonton.
I would like to thank the Latymer community, the school’s Senior Leadership Team and staff, the Latymer Foundation, all the generous parents who contribute so kindly to the Standards Funds, the Governors, Latymer Parents and Friends, and most of all the students for making Latymer the wonderful school it continues to be!
“With all our hope that Latymer enables to shape a shining future for our daughter! Just want to say Thank you!”
Mr and Mrs Kamdar, Parents Year 7
“The Charities Committee would like to give a special mention to all students and staff, past and present, for their charitable work. From the very early days of the new school on Haselbury Road in 1910, charitable work has been a big part of Latymer in life. All houses had a house charity then (e.g. Lamb House supported paralysed babies) and they continue to do so now, raising thousands of pounds annually. Small charities in our local community are a particular focus for us, and it is gratifying to see students doing charitable work, both inside and outside of school.”
The Latymer School’s Charities Committee
Looking back at some key 20th century influencers on the school – Tristan Lockheart, Senior pupil
“Many thanks to Dr Hussan for his excellent and enlightening chemistry demonstrations and dedication to teaching. I still remember the colourful practicals on transition metal flames.”
Jason Cheung, Alumni (2009-2016)
“Hello from New Zealand! I well remember my first day, my last day & a few more in between! Dr Trefor Jones was Head for most of my time, what a man he was and I remember him saying he would stay until he had counted all the arches in the Great Hall there and back – and if as a pupil you stay till the 6th form you use all 7 arches up! My older brother Trevor, and sister Linda also went to Latymer. I think both Trevor and I still hold athletic records from a long time ago! Amazing. My father Stanley, donated 2 cups to be won on Sports Day – I never did, though I tried 3 times! I was one of those people who really loved school, and it certainly has many good memories. Let us not forget the story of how the school was founded and the many trials and tribulations since that day. Qui Patitur Vincit – so true then, and so true now. Stay safe everyone – as they say in these parts: Kia Kaha”
Melanie Birchmore, Alumni (1967-1974)
“I am also proud to have attended Latymer. I loved the House system (Dolbe) – the feeling of belonging, the chance to excel (sport for me) but also to learn that you can’t be good at everything – but that by participating you can make a difference (e.g. House cookery and House Choral Verse). I also learned there is a time to lead and take responsibility (Deputy and House Captain). Lessons I have carried with me through life (aged 55 now!).”
Andrew Grassick, Alumni (1977-1983)