The Latymer Link - page 2

2 Latymer
July 2013
From the head
for the first
two weeks, because our first priority is to
help your sons and daughters settle in”.
So said in June a deputy head from the
stage to a group of 186 parents, as their
children were about to start their career
at one the country’s highest attaining
secondary schools. This appeared to be a
very pleasant surprise to many. This
statement is an element of Latymer’s
ethos, we teach students as well as
subjects, students’ physical and emotional
well-being is a vital prerequisite to them
being able to learn effectively.
Afterwards a parent with a child higher
up the school said to me, “I already have
a student at the school but to hear the
explanation of the ethos again was good.”
Recent data analysed by a governor
showed that Latymer students at GCSE
achieved on average half a grade better
per subject than they would have done at
one of 60 “similar” schools. Similar in
this context means of similar attainment
on entry, in other words the 60 highest
performing grammar schools. Governors
found this remarkable; Latymer is
definitely not a “coasting” school;
students progress, even from a very high
starting point, more rapidly than in
similar schools.
After eight years as Headteacher, what is
my view of the factors that enable
students to do so well, the factors that
make Latymer special?
• One could say that bright students will
make good progress, because they are
well-motivated - and they can be taught
at a pace to suit them. But this applies to
all similar schools, so one has to look at
particular factors.
• A highly qualified and committed
group of staff, all staff, not just teachers.
One would assume this applies to all
similar schools, too.
• Maybe physical resources? Latymer
looks well resourced, there are plenty of
computers, well-maintained buildings, a
major development in buildings every
now and again. Latymer is not an
academy, it is not a priority for
government funding, but the resources
available are directed effectively by the
very experienced governing body and
parents do assist with provision of
• What about parents? My view, having
worked in many schools, is that Latymer
parents are remarkably committed and
supportive of their children’s education –
attendance at meetings is almost 100%,
support for trips is almost 100% and the
APfLS plays a significant role in enhancing
communication amongst the parent body,
organising events and raising funds.
These factors are all important but I feel
the atmosphere, the climate, the ways of
working, are the most important: they are
easy to feel and experience, but are not
easy to describe or measure. I mean the
way that adults work together, in the
interests of students; the friendly
interactions between adults and students;
the tireless energy of teachers to prepare
top quality lessons, assess work and
provide a huge variety of enriching extra-
curricular activities.
Latymer students do very, very well
academically. They thrive in a pleasant
working atmosphere, it is a pleasure
every day to work with them in this very
special school.
Mark Garbett
of keen year 12 students
headed off to help out a handful of
gifted year 6 children at Latymer All
Saints. The local primary school were
eager to make a link with our school, and
the connection seemed mutually
beneficial. Every Tuesday, we were able to
help out with the primary school
children’s maths skills in many different
areas in the run up to their SATs –
including handling data, word problems
and an introduction to algebra.
On top of the group work, I was able to
teach a series of algebra lessons to an
enthusiastic year 6 class, teaching them
the basics and giving them extension work
slightly beyond their curriculum. It has
been a pleasure to help out Latymer All
Saints this year and it is evident that the
children will flourish in the future.
A huge thank you to Miss Tumilty, as
without her, we wouldn’t have had this
opportunity. Hopefully in the years to
come, we can build on the primary school
scheme and make this link stronger.
Benita Thambipillai 12CKE
PS Latymer All Saints have just advised us
that eight of the students we tutored had
got Level 6 in maths and are really
Working with the community
What makes Latymer
1 3,4,5,6,7
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