Mr Antony Spencer MA (Oxon.)

I am very pleased to say a few words about your new OL Society website and take the opportunity to update about some recent progress at the School.

First a few words of thanks. I wanted to thank you for your patience whilst the new website has been built over the last year.  Now that you have the chance to view it and hopefully use it, I trust that you will find it to be a really helpful tool for staying in touch with your friends from St Lawrence and getting even more from being part of the Old Lawrentian community.  Whether I read about the lives of Old Lawrentians from years gone by or the lives of those today, it is clear to me that Old Lawrentians are not only special people, but they are also a critical component in the School’s on-going success.  This new website makes that even clearer. Thank you for making your own mark within this special community and your on-going interest and involvement within it.

I would also like to thank the OL Committee who represent you and your friends. Your Committee members give up a significant amount to time to ensure that your needs are best met. Particular thanks and appreciation must go to OL President and Vice-President, James Barden and Nick Marchant, both of whom display an unwavering commitment and enthusiasm towards the School and are impressive advocates for you.

Regarding the School itself, I am really pleased to say that pupils at St Lawrence have been able to make fantastic progress in a number of areas recently.  One of the most significant examples is the recent construction of the new Science, Art and DT block. Not only is it truly handsome in its own right, but its innovative and traditional appearance blends in well with other surrounding buildings. The rooms are modern, light and airy and bring the beauty of the surroundings into the classroom. In many ways the building has achieved the vision that resonated strongly with me from one of my predecessors, Canon Perfect.  Perfect understood the importance of creating an academic focal point at the heart of the School – in effect our own version of an Oxbridge quadrangle – in which the look and feel and purpose of the buildings enhances the academic tempo of the School.  From a practical point of view, the proximity of academic classrooms increases every child’s lesson time, as well as prevents children from crossing a busy road. Not only will these better facilities improve educational outcomes by inspiring children in their studies, but it also makes a statement of intent which says that creative subjects like art and design are just as important as traditional subjects for the future, areas that are being badly cut back in the state sector. 

The School has also enjoyed significant sporting success.  St Lawrence College became U-18 National indoor Hockey champions by beating much bigger and well-resourced schools like Oakham which is a Top 5 school, and Whitgift which forms the basis of the England team.  The U-16 girls also reached the finals. St Lawrence College is on the way to being the top School in Kent for hockey and the Top 10 nationally. Cricket is following too. Better facilities and staff have continued to attract talented pupils. Former 2005 Ashes winning wicket keeper, Geraint Jones, has joined the teaching staff and will be Housemaster of Deacon, one of two new Houses newly established within the School (the other being another House for girls called Clifford).  Girls are already in the last 16 nationally for the U-15s cricket. A St Lawrence College girl is playing in the Kent County Cricket Academy. More girls are mixing and playing with boys in the main cricket teams including the First XI.  What is more, they are taking an impressive number of wickets and catches!

 Last, but by no means least, the School’s continued commitment towards scholarships and bursaries (c20% of our gross income) is re-invested in giving children the chance to fulfil their individual potential wherever their talents lie.  I am proud to say that St Lawrence College is a School whose Christian ethos and values puts the well-being of pupils at the centre of its attention.   

Thank you for being active and connected to the School as alumni.  Our OLs are a vital part of our community. You help make the School what it is today and what it will become in the future.  Whether you are a young OL who is looking to get your first job or a better job, or an older OL who wants to re-connect with old friends, the OL Society is a way to do that. My team in the Development Office is there to help. I hope that you make the most of the many opportunities available.

Kind regards

Antony Spencer MA (Oxon.)

Antony Spencer

Copyright St Lawrence College 2018