The term ‘Mindfulness’ refers to a state of awareness. It is eminently simple, but can lead to a significantly far-reaching change in the way that one lives. The practise and philosophy of Mindfulness is generally attributed to Buddhism, though it is likely that it existed far before this is other forms. In the present day, people all over the world are beginning to learn about the principles and practices of Mindfulness and Meditation for a huge variety of reasons. Mindfulness has become so rife, in fact, that the term ‘McMindfulness’ has been coined in order to describe the commercialisation of this ancient way of being.
Hundreds of schools all over the world are now beginning to see how teaching Mindfulness as part of the curriculum can have profoundly beneficial effects on students of all ages. In this rapidly changing world, which is so full of unknowns, it seems vital that children are given tools and skills which will enable them to be truly reflective and responsible citizens. Cultivating meditative practise seems to be one piece of this very difficult puzzle. The simple act of slowing oneself down and taking some time to simply sit, or pay attention to something which is usually ignored, can be surprisingly fruitful, nourishing and transformative.
In addition to the testimony of great figures from the past and present, such as the Buddha and the Dalai Lama, a huge number of scientific studies are emerging which allude to the profound effects that meditative practise can have on one’s general health and wellbeing. It is our intention at Long Close for these benefits to be accessible to all of our students. By gradually embedding Mindfulness and meditation into the school, we hope to help our students to be happier and healthier so that they can lead well-balanced, stable and virtuous lives.
Deputy Headteacher/Head of Senior School
The Curse of Technology!
Over the next decade 1 billion young people will start out to work in jobs, of which 60% don’t yet exist and over the next twenty years, 40 % of all jobs available today won’t be around anymore.
For the first time in the history of humanity, technological advancements are moving too quickly to reasonably predict the future for our children.
Meanwhile the giant global educational machine roles on, churning out academics because that is how we have always measured our young people. Moving education from its course is a bit like trying to alter the course of an oil tanker. It will move eventually but in the mean time we remain, like all educational establishments fully bound to the system. We prevail at Long Close School, at the top of this tree, and as parents you can rest assured that your children will continue to outperform other students in this field.
However, Cognita is more than a company committed to academic excellence. It is a company committed to equipping its students, your children, to be able to compete and excel in the very uncertain world to come.
You will notice the word ‘Character’ appear a lot over the next few months. It is a word that encompasses a wide range of traits that we are committed to developing at Long Close School. In Character development we are talking about leadership, team work, diligence, perseverance, problem-solving, trouble shooting, empathy, tolerance etc.
These character traits are now fully embedded into our teaching philosophy. They are delivered as an integral part of our Form time, Our Pastoral system and comprise an important role in out of classroom teaching. Our exciting club provision along with calendar events like enrichment week and curriculum collapse are all designed to focus students toward character development.
It is when we leave the school grounds, however, that things really hot up. Our school takes character development so seriously, that no trips are approved, unless the lead teacher has demonstrated how the trip will develop these traits. We are very proud to announce that the school is now an approved D of E centre and is being pioneered this year by the year 9s. The D of E award is just the tip of the iceberg. The school will be building an outward bound program that begins with Forest Schools in the nursery, extending throughout the whole school.
So the question inevitably arises. Is it really going to be beneficial to this technology driven future that our children know how to make a fire with sticks and raise a tent? Surly they should be in the classroom bent over maths and science books? It’s a fair question but somehow missis the point. It’s not cave man skills that we’re interested in, we are interested in how children react and adapt in unfamiliar situations. These outward bound programs put them firmly out of their comfort zones and it is there that character development flourishes.
Even then that’s not the end of the story. This program also delivers a fantastic and a very unexpected cherry on the cake. These character skills developed out of the classroom, have an enormously useful impact on the actual learning that takes place in the classroom.
Despite the wealth of amazing teachers at long close school delivering outstanding lessons, in the end it is the children who do the learning. Children who come into class, ready to problem solve, to persevere, to support and teach their pears do better. Fact! Children who have developed these character traits outperform other children in all areas. But I’m preaching to the converted. If anyone reading this is an employer, you will know all about character traits. Employers across the country are making character traits a primary focus because they know through bitter experience the kind of young people who excel and those who don’t.
This is the future that we are preparing for and it is our commitment at long close school and throughout the Cognita group, to make sure that it is our students that are the best equipped to embrace it.
Head of Science, EVC
We have had an exciting start to the Clubs offering this term. The #LCSClubs Program is designed to offer high-quality, extra-curricular after school care providing your child with wrap-around care. Our aim is to give each of our pupils the chance to discover and follow their own particular skills and interests. That way they can establish a sense of their own identity, which we believe is a crucial step towards realising their potential and learning how to lead a rich, fulfilled life.
A very happy new year from your PTA committee! Although it is only 3 weeks into the year we have already had our first committee meeting of the year to talk about events for this term. There is a huge amount planned starting with the Junior School disco (see below for more details), the mother’s day present store, Easter themed events and a social event for our senior school students.
Junior Disco (years 1-6)
- When – Friday 2nd of February
- Time – 6-9pm
- Venue – Thames Valley Athletics Centre
Cost – £8 per child – this includes entry, food and unlimited squash
As usual we will have great music and entertainment led by Jelly Disco as well as stalls including tuck shop, glow bands and tattoos. Tickets were on sale from today. Look out for us next week too!
The draw took place on the 5th of January and all winners of the PTA raffle have been notified. Although we didn’t have any lucky winners from Long Close this time we hope you will agree this was a great initiative.
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Long Close celebrates another year of outstanding GCSE results
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Prep School ready to step back in time for the week!
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To see more of what is happening at Long Close, please click here