Inspiring future creativity...

It's been an odd week. A week of mixed emotions.

But, by Friday evening, I felt very positive; positive about the future. Positive about the creativity and unbounded potential of young people. Positive about their ability to interpret the world differently, and offer a new perspective on it.

I'll try to explain why.

World news this week has of course been dominated by events in Iraq. The various regional conflicts that periodically play out on all our television screens or newspaper front pages are real; viscerally so. But, hard though it may be to admit, they can also at the same time seem unreal; distant; disconnected; remote from our daily lives and experience here in the UK. Not so this one. The current unrest in Iraq resonates very personally with us at Park House. It resonates because of the partnerships we have forged with schools in the region of the last three years. I last blogged about this only a month ago...

May 6 Blog >>>

That we happen to have worked with schools in Iraq is in the wider scheme of things neither here nor there. But teachers in those schools have become our friends. We've had meals with them. They've visited our school several times. The BBC covered their most recent visit last November.

BBC November coverage >>>

I suppose it was therefore inevitable that they wanted to speak to me again last Friday morning about the 'disappointment' of the cancellation of our planned visit to Erbil in two weeks time to celebrate the programme with a sports festival for primary schools organised by students from Park House and their Iraqi peers.

BBC June coverage >>>

It is easy to be negative and pessimistic. But as I was thinking about how to articulate my answers to camera, it struck me. This programme - the programme we were due to travel to Erbil to celebrate - has been about the future. It has been about the young people of Iraq and empowering them to make decisions that their parents had not had the independence or opportunity to make. We didn't need to travel over again to prove that the programme had been successful. And therein lies hope; hope that once the current situation stabilises there will be a new generation of young leaders ready to shape the future. Their future.

This sense of positivity then crystallised later in the evening, at the Sixth Form Art, Photography and Textiles Exhibition. In a different way, it too celebrated the creativity of youth; its ability to see things from a startling new angle and interpret life afresh. I have never experienced a school-based Art Show like it in this respect. You get just a flavour of its originality from this brief virtual tour...


A unifying theme had finally emerged from a confusing week. That of inspiring future creativity...

Art, Photography and Textiles A Level 2014

A small selection of our inspirational A Level Art, Photography and Textiles Exhibition from 13th June 2014. A great reflection of our staff and students' hard work, dedication and friendship. More images in the Summer 2014 edition of Personal Best!

  • Photo collage by Amy Pusey
  • Photo manipulation by Steph Tu
  • Photo by Marcus Tu
  • Mixed media by Eloise Little
  • Portrait by Alice Chambers
  • Fashion design by George Chaffey
  • Flourescent art by Abi Hollister
  • Photo by Jack Wickens
  • Textiles by Ella Goodman
  • Sculptural portrait by Elizabeth Rickards
  • Horse by Jazz Bannister
  • Coursework by Emma Hygate