For the past week or so one subject seems to have dominated the news bulletins and been the topic of public debate: statues. For most of our lives we’ve probably all walked past statues in our town centres and public spaces without really giving much thought to who the people are and why they’ve been commemorated in this way. All of a sudden though, we all seem obsessed with statues and we all seem to have an opinion about who should – and shouldn’t – have a statue erected in their honour.
The last few months have challenged us all as we’ve been separated from our families, our friends and our normal routines. To fill this void we’ve been forced to get creative, whether that has involved creating exercise routines, reading lots of books or completing TikTok challenges! Like a lot of you, I suspect, it’s also involved lots of ‘binge watching’ on Netflix.
In the past, I’ve not attempted to hide my criticism of celebrity culture. I know that in large part this comes from my personal dislike for some of the tv shows and the antics of individuals seeking fame on these programmes. I’ve never liked the idea of people becoming famous for being famous as opposed to having done something admirable!
If you look around the room today, you’ll notice that – despite what you might have seen on TV and social media – all of your teachers are incredibly calm and that’s because we trust the advice we’ve been given and we trust all of you to follow that advice, be careful and keep each other safe.
Ali has been recognised as a high achiever due to the amount of effort he puts into his learning in and outside of school. In his spare time Ali enjoys attending online courses to stretch himself academically. We asked Ali some questions regarding his achievements…
Mr Potts, Vice Principal (Pastoral) assembly on embracing diversity. I did a very rough estimate and I worked out that, amongst the students and staff here, we have well over 20 nationalities represented - just in this room! Scanning the hall right now I can see Claudia from Spain, Dr Neuberg from France, Zerda and Alexandra from Germany...
Talking to our Year 11s and 13s, I know that the pressure is now on. There are fewer than 40 school days until the exams start. Courses are almost complete and it’s time for them to make sure they have the best revision strategies for learning the information for retrieval under exam conditions in three or four months’ time.
At some point in History or RS lessons, you will have learnt about the dangers of stereotyping groups of people. This attitude over-generalises about different sectors of society, making the lazy assumption that “they are all the same”. The danger is that this then prejudices our approach to individuals within those groups.