Last night I gave the following speech to introduce the review of the year at our Celebration of Achievement evening.
Back in December I was given the great privilege of becoming acting head of teaching and learning in the secondary school. Teaching and learning are at the heart of what we do in school. Our excellent team of staff works to ensure that all of our pupils develop skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work so that they grow into the best possible versions of themselves.
As a school we are judged partly through the assessments and exam results that we produce and there is no denying that these are important. Formal qualifications are the currency that allow our pupils to compete in a world where opportunities are sometimes hard to come by.
I recently spoke in an assembly about Richard Branson, the self-made multi-millionaire who left school with nothing and made it nevertheless.
Whilst in some ways he is an amazing role model, particularly for those with dyslexia, he is also in other ways unhelpful because he is one in a million. Qualifications on the whole do matter and it is for that reason that we want all of our pupils to leave school with the absolute best results that they can.
But being the absolute best is about more than just qualifications.
In our Learn to Learn and PSE classes and our assemblies, we focus a great deal on the idea of being reflective learners and of using all situations, both in and out of school, as learning opportunities. The successes and mistakes. The highs and the lows.
Our pupils know that being the best is also about being helpful, being loving, being understanding and being a good human being.
You are about to see a presentation that celebrates the highlights of the past school year and shows, alongside all the other huge achievements in the room tonight, why our school is amazing and why having my job is an absolute privilege.
There will be some things missing: please don’t be offended but just understand that in 15 minutes, we have just produced a snapshot.
This is the work of the students who are presenting it and a few others behind the scenes.
The quotes your will see are from our Learn to Learn sessions and assemblies and will give you a flavour of the ideas that we encourage our pupils to explore.
I will now leave you in the very safe hands of the students.
The presentation that the pupils presented was slick, professional, moving and entertaining and they did themselves and the school proud.
I am so very lucky to do the job I do.