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.
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.
The Principal’s first speech of the year – the annual “state of the union” address – during staff training is always crucial. It is a chance to welcome new faces to the community, reflect on pupil achievements in A Level and GCSE exams and praise the activity of the non-teaching staff who work so hard during the summer “holiday”.
Good afternoon and a warm welcome to you all. In particular, we welcome new members of our community – new pupils and new staff. It is a test of a community how well it welcomes new people – and that is a test that I know Fulneck will pass with flying colours.