When Leah Barrow, the GB 800 metre runner, visited us last month, she mentioned that her inspiration had been a lady called Kelly Holmes, but didn’t really say why Dame Kelly had been so inspirational. Indeed, Kelly’s greatest achievement, writing herself into the history books, happened almost 15 years ago so I thought I would start today by explaining what a remarkable lady she is.
Students from Fulneck School have been on an inspiring visit to CERN, home of the large Hadron Collider and were hosted by a former student, now working there.
Good morning and welcome to you all. I can feel the nerves in the room, and that’s just the parents! Today does not define you. It provides some useful information for us when we start teaching you in September, but it’s just a starting point for you, not an end. It’s not who you are, it’s just a small piece of info about you.
Good afternoon and welcome back. I hope you all had a lovely holiday, built around revision timetables, I’m sure, for our Upper Sixth who begin their mock exams today. In particular a very warm welcome to several new starters. I know you will be made very welcome by everyone around you. All I ask, as the school community already knows, is that you make the most of this opportunity by working hard and being kind.
Think about this: somewhere in the world, there’s someone just like you. They might be the same age as you, they might be as intelligent as you, they might even look like you. The only thing that separates them from you is likely to be the start in life that they’ve been given. And that start – as you’ve heard – is likely to shape their future and how the rest of their life turns out too.
In my absence, Vice Principal and Head of Psychology, Gemma Carver, took this week’s assembly, continuing our theme of kindness. In two million years, the human brain has nearly tripled in mass, going from half a kg in our ancestors to the almost 1.5kg whopper that everybody here has between their ears. But what is it about a big brain that made nature so eager for every one of us to have one?
Last time we met I mainly concentrated on ‘why’ working hard is so important. You are in a race, not against your friends here, but a national race against motivated pupils across the country. When you get your A Level results you will be measured against their performance.
Does it matter what we wear? Hands up if you think our clothes are important? Hands up now if you think not? I’m going to give you 30 seconds to think about the question, then some time to talk to your partner about your ideas and then we’ll share some ideas as a group.
Last week’s assembly was, on the face of it, all about making choices. Let’s hope you never find yourself needing to make a decision on the scale of the one that faced John McCain. One of the choices I gave you, however, was about whether you will work hard at all you do or waste this amazing opportunity that you have been given, and that is the theme that I want to continue with today and next time.