Students heading off to study for exams



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It’s the time of year when again when we say a fond farewell to our Y11 students as they head off on study leave prior to starting their GCSE exams.

Headteacher, Simon Jones, had a special message for the Y11s on their final day at school:

“What a brilliant bunch you have been! I’ve literally lost count of the number of teachers I have spoken to this year who have sung the praises of their particular Y11 class/classes. As a result, you’ve made my job much easier as collectively you’ve set the right example to our students lower down the school (with just a few exceptions on the trouser front!).

If you’re looking for inspiration in the run up to the exams (and beyond), I can certainly recommend the book ‘Bounce’ by Matthew Syed. He provides a compelling argument for the power of practice and hard work in achieving success. It’s not about the myth of talent, but the determination to put in the hours that really count.

However, as Prince Andrew recently pointed out in an interview with the Sunday Times, we must also be prepared to fail in order to learn. That’s something I certainly agree with. I’ve experienced plenty of personal failures over the course of my lifetime and tried to learn from each and every one of them.

C.S. Lewis, poet and author of the Narnia Chronicles is quoted as saying ‘Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement’. That’s a pretty good way of looking at things in my view.

So, the formula for success seems to be a combination of hard work and a willingness to learn from failure. On that basis we are all capable of achieving our goals.

I’ll finish with another quote, this time from George Bernard Shaw, playwright, author and co-founder of the London School of Economics. He wrote ‘when I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work’

The very best of luck in the next stage of your life – hope to see most of you back in Y12.

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