29/09/2014

The greatest show on earth?

Prepare yourself for plenty of gratuitous whooping and hollering...

Ryder Cup Winners 2014

Ryder Cup Fans 2014

And some truly horrendous knitwear:

Ryder Cup Fans 2014

As a self confessed sports anorak, I was drawn to this BBC article on the character of the Ryder Cup.  

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/golf/29311201

The greatest sporting show on earth?

Having experienced the awe and wonder of a home Olympics, I might reserve judgement. But in terms of the intensity of pride and passion the event evokes, I think I'm inclined to agree.

Pride and passion.

It seems to me wholly appropriate that perhaps the greatest sporting expression of those sentiments should directly coincide with exactly that scenario at school.

The difference is, at school, these aren't simply a show.

On Thursday night we he held our annual Open Evening. By definition, elements of it have to be a 'set piece'. Departments are on display. They are in any school.

What I believe makes our evening so very different to others - and I've worked in five schools across the last twenty-seven years - is the spontaneous and completely genuine expression of pride and passion of the literally hundreds of students from Years 7 to 13 who volunteer to help.

Truly amazing young people who volunteer as tour guides, subject ambassadors or to speak alongside me at our three presentations to packed halls full of primary school students and their parents as they together prepare to make one of the one important decisions of their life.

After listening to the first of the speeches from...

Summer, Rebecca, Tyler and Charlie in Year 7...

Year 7 Students

Alex, Flo, Lucas and Ollie in Year 11...

Year 11 Students

and Head Boy and Girl, Marcus and Heather...

Marcus and Heather Headboy and HeadGirl 2014

...I went off script. All I could think to say was that I have the greatest job in the world in being privileged to work alongside these wonderful young people, but on nights like these feel redundant from it. Who needs to listen to me when the students say all that needs to be said!

Then, at 9.15pm, when we were winding up for the night, and I felt things couldn't get any better.... A group of Year 8s came into the Hall specially to thank me for allowing them to volunteer.

I feel a whoop and holler coming on...

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