Lancaster Royal
Grammar School

On being the right size

As a teenager interested in natural history, I read biologist JBS Haldane’s famous essay: “On being the right size.” Why are insects so small? Why do trees grow to 30 feet, but rarely 300 feet? 

Everything has a right size, depending on its structures and environment. 

LRGS is entering a phase of modest growth, as we expand to six forms of Year 7 entry in September.  Over seven years we will grow from just over 1000 to about 1200. 

Our aim is to provide an exceptional education to more children as the school grows. 

This is in keeping with our historic mission to Lancaster, Morecambe and surrounding villages – which are expanding. We must continue to offer local pupils an equal opportunity to come here as Lancaster’s population grows. 

A smaller proportion of our intake comes from our outer catchment, south to Preston and north to Arnside. We do not want to become ultra-selective, and expansion allows some more “residual area” places. 

The desire is to create a better school, not just a bigger school.  Expansion will allow us to improve the quality of our provision.

(“Why did he think adding meant increase?” asks a character in one of Philip Larkin’s poems. “To me it was dilution.” Not for us!) 

Our broad arts and science curriculum is a hallmark of the school. As school finances come under increasing pressure nationally, the economies of scale that come with growth will help us to guard that breadth. 

It will also allow us to improve and expand some of our facilities. Two new science labs and more rooms in Old School House are on the architect’s table in part due to our growing numbers. 

Pastoral systems will evolve as we grow, so that we continue to know every pupil as an individual, in and out of the classroom.

This is the Goldilocks principle! Not too big, not too small: the right size.