We often talk to students about being part of the ‘Sheriff family’. Like all families there are the immediate members as well as the extended family. Both contribute to the rich tapestry that is family life. As always, I would like to celebrate an important member of the extended Sheriff family: the Old Laurentian Society.
The Old Laurentian Society is open to staff and students who have worked at or attended Lawrence Sheriff School. Their values and aims align very closely with those of the school:
- to promote fellowship amongst old boys and girls of Lawrence Sheriff School
- to support educational achievement at Lawrence Sheriff School with charitable endowments, and to encourage the education of students both in the classroom, on the playing field, and in other school activities
The OL’s meet once a month as part of the Laurentian Charitable Trust. The Trust manages the land and property at Fenley Fields as part of the OL Rugby Club. Many of our past and present students benefit from being a member of the OL Rugby Club. It is thriving.
I have the pleasure of hosting a termly meeting with members of the OL Society here at school. They enjoy hearing about how the school is developing and are incredibly keen to support projects within school. Most recently they have generously donated money to pay for the services of our school counsellor and have sponsored the work of the Eco-committee by purchasing bulbs for the wild flower garden. But mostly it is a way to share a past history and continue to belong to the Sheriff family.
I love to hear stories of OL’s bumping into other OL’s when travelling, at work conferences, at sporting events or whilst in a bar or restaurant! The network is far reaching and being part of this wider school community is something special. The OL Society is keen to expand its membership and each year we give Year 13 students the opportunity to sign up, but we do not necessarily celebrate what being part of the OL Society means. Being part of this extended family might not seem as important to students as they leave to embark on the next exciting stage of their career but at some point the importance of a shared past will hit home and very often there is a desire to re-connect and give back in some way. I am also keen to maintain contact with ex-students as they have a wealth of knowledge and experience that current students can learn from (for example, we have had past students in to talk to members of the sixth form about their careers in Law and Medicine), I also love to hear about their achievements. The OL Society and school held a joint alumni event in Summer 2023. We showcased how the physical environment has developed by inviting ex-students back on site, giving them the opportunity to tour the school, enjoy ball games on the hard play (just like old times!), share memories and perhaps share their contact details with the OL’s and school as they reminisced over light refreshments. As a school we are working on an increased presence on LinkedIn so that we can better build and utilise our alumni expertise.
We will share further details as our plans develop and we look forward to welcoming Old Laurentians back into school in the future.
In the meantime, if you an OL and are keen to connect there is a Facebook page which is well worth a visit (13) The Old Laurentian Society | Facebook