Past and Present

I’ve topped and tailed my week this week with work with Year 11’s.

On Monday we hosted our annual ex-year 11 presentation evening. It was, as always, a lovely evening and was, this year, very well attended by the pupils. It is amazing to see how much those young people had changed in such a short period of time. It was truly lovely to see them as the young adults they now are. The overwhelming majority of those young people were desperately polite and very keen to talk to staff at the event. It was a pleasure to be in their presence.

And the wheel of life continues to turn. On Friday we held our first Year 11 ILE assembly. It really does not seem like 12 months ago since we were sat with our last Year 11 pupils going through this process, but here we are again with a new cohort; talking them through what they need to know to be a success in the upcoming ILEs and then into the summer exams.

I know that many children and young people get this but it does surprise me every single year that some of the Year 11s sitting there seem to think that they know more about what is needed then we do. As I pointed out on Friday morning, we do this every single year. We know what it takes to be a success. Some of our children do not actually recognise and remember that. If they did, and acted upon the advice that we give them, they would be significantly more successful than they have been thus far.

When I look at our Year 11 pupils I do see some hope. I reflect upon the young people we celebrated on Monday. Some of whom didn’t get it this time last year. Some were a problem, some were terrifically challenging, some couldn’t be bothered, some of those pupils were refusing to cooperate and were making it difficult for themselves around the school. But through patience, tolerance and overwhelming professionalism you were able to cajole and convince and, as a consequence, many many of those young people emerged as a great success, over the summer months; be that at the prom, Leavers’ Day, during the exam period or through their final exam results.

We will hold onto these thoughts as we work with our present Year 11s. They will continue to present us with a whole host of challenges. We hold on to the knowledge that we know what it takes for them to be a success. I know we will continue to, patiently and professionally, work with them to convince them that we are right and we do know what we’re doing.

‘We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us.’

‘Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, calibre, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me.’      APJ Abdul Khan

I want to publicly thank all of the staff for that persistence, that patience, that persuasion and the overwhelmingly professional approach. They couldn’t do it without the staff. We wouldn’t be who we are without the staff.