This is always one of my (many) favourite times of the school year, when senior students apply for leadership positions. It is a great opportunity to learn even more about our young people and what makes them tick, and what drives them towards success, both academically and personally. Involving our current senior leaders in the recruitment process is always rewarding. It gives them a chance to reflect on their experience during the interviews that they went through on application, and also how successful they have been whilst active in their current leadership roles.
It is always important to make these processes as educational as possible, and what better way than students working with students to discover and develop the best. It has been a real pleasure working with both our current Head Students. They have been an impressive team and awesome role models for our many students. They will leave behind big boots to fill! It was a pleasure to stand at the back of the auditorium at the end of last term and listen to them graciously speak to our prize-winning students before they received their prizes.
I asked them both if I could include an extract from their speech for this website, as I think it is important that voices and views like theirs are shared with as many people as possible who live and work across a school learning community. They are the role models and uphold the values that we should all aspire to.
Good evening pupils, parents, and teachers. It is with very great pleasure that we share with you this delightful evening to celebrate all of your accomplishments…
…Education is about far more than what happens inside the four walls of a classroom, and we are very fortunate and proud to have students and staff members who recognize this. In my opinion, one of the characteristics that best describes an outstanding student is their attitudes to learning, and how they overcome the hurdles they encounter along the way. We celebrate excellent attitudes in all facets of school life, whether that be in the classroom, in extracurricular activities, or competitions and events, and we hope that all of you prize winners who have demonstrated excellent attitudes to learning, keep up the work during your remaining time at school, serving as role models to all other students in the school.
All of you present today have additionally done an outstanding job in being great ambassadors for the school, and in remarkably representing the school values in such unusual times. The open-mindedness with which you all affronted not only the first months of the pandemic which came hand in hand with an intense lockdown, followed by an unconventional summer and finally, an atypical start to the school year, has been admirable. We live in a world of constant changes, and as humans, we are extremely privileged to be able to adapt to these transitions. We are incredibly proud of how well you’ve adapted to the circumstances, and of how hard you’ve worked despite it all. You made those revision notes, hustled the learning, dealt with online school and somehow made it through. By staying open and hopeful, even through tough times, you have demonstrated to us all how much you are capable of. Thank you for your determination, your perseverance for showing us all that hard work pays off.
Despite the inability to be physically present in school, this did not stop students, parents and teachers from seeking to make their contribution. Student participation in the wider school community is what really drives school spirit and motivates us all to keep going no matter what. Pupils who earn this prize have been role models in this area, as they have remained active during the online schooling period, seeking to give back and take part in school community activities as much as possible. Thanks to these students we managed to see huge participation rates in events such as The Around The World Challenge during the first few months of lockdown, the cake baking house competition, teacher and student Kahoots, and ‘dressing up as your favourite movie character’ competition. These events and many others, as well as the participation in them is what has managed to help keep our strong school community together during the isolated quarantine months, and have reminded us all that we must stand together. These three categories – excellent attitudes, school values and community participation – have proved what amazing things you the students can achieve, no matter the situation we find ourselves in.
So once again, congratulations for having come this far. It is our honour to celebrate all you’ve accomplished despite the unusual times we are living in. This isn’t the end, but just the beginning! And we look forward to seeing how you all use the tools and skills you’ve been given to create a world fuelled by fresh perspective, innovation and action. The future is yours. Keep up the good work and enjoy your very well deserved Christmas holidays.