25/09/2017

Simply the best...

Last time it was 'The greatest'. And the start of term superlatives continue to flow, naturally!

A week ago I received a very special letter. A genuinely moving letter. A humbling letter.

It was from a former student who joined us from another school at the start of the Sixth Form, who's about to begin his third year at university and is on for a First. It wouldn't be appropriate to share it in full here, but two sentences struck home. In them he wrote of how his experience at school had helped to shape and inspire his future journey, with...

 

'so many lessons to improve me as an a individual' and

 

'finding self-belief that I never knew existed'.

 

I am equally inspired by him - and indeed achievements and character of all our former students. What they go onto do and achieve. They also provides a collective and reassuring 'self-belief' in the purpose of what we set out to do as a school. Take, for example:

 

Sadie Hawkins

 

Sadie Hawkins, who secured an apprenticeship with IBM after her A Levels and has gone on to become the national Apprentice of the Year, combining consulting for this world-leading technology company with her degree level studies...

Giverny Barrett

And Giverney Barrett, who came to South Africa with me as one of our Sports Ambassadors back in 2010 and is now working post-degree as an occupational therapist for adults with learning difficulties, but has still found the time next weekend to help as a volunteer on the PE Departments's GCSE residential in the Brecon Beacons. It was lovely to see her again when she popped back in for a chat last Friday....

 

Or Gareth Carless, entering his third year at Bristol, and who wrote so eloquently about escorting a summer internship at Apple in the latest edition of Personal Best...

 


 

Gareth Carless Debating

Gareth's at the centre of this photo of our Year 12 school Debating Team back in 2014, a team which became southern regional champions at their first attempt. His fellow students personify the breadth and diversity of our students' achievements beyond Park House. Former Head Girl, Heather Barr, is in her final year at Oxford reading English, along with Will Matthews (far left), studying Engineering. Tom Davies (far right) is also currently in his third year, reading  History at Exeter and Sam Forrest is flourishing on a management development programme with John Lewis.

One of the joys of having been in post here for so long - this is now, believe it or not, my fifteenth year - is the rich picture that builds up of the on-going success, happiness and fulfilment of the young people who have grown up together with us.

There's a longer term perspective on what school is for. And it's never sharper at this time of year.

Last week saw our annual Open Evening and Morning for prospective students, young people aged nine, ten or eleven who, with their families, are thinking about joining us over the next few years. As you look out over the audience, commenting on all that the current and previous generation of our students have achieved, you can't help but wonder wonder what they will go on to do as the future of our school. And wonder what their reflections will be on the individual journeys, which still lie ahead.

In the letter I described earlier, the writer spoke about how we 'Inspire a generation'.

That couldn't have been more evident last week, as so many of our current generation of students spent so time with staff helping to inspire the next…

Open Evening

Open Evening

Open Evening

Past to present. To future. They are simply the best.

For more pictures from our Open Evening please see our facebook page...

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