Welcome back. I hope you have had an enjoyable half term and managed to get some rest.
This week we celebrated the achievements of our staff and students in winning the World Genius Cup for Urdu Language. We fought off opposition from schools around Great Britain and the world to secure the title by an impressive margin of over 200,000 points. Our students also placed in 9 of the top 10 positions for their contributions in words overall. I am so grateful to Mr Hussain and his students for their hard work and commitment to the event. It is remarkable and very special.
Given the success we had a visit from the Lord Mayor, Mr Ali, on Wednesday and he came in to school for a few hours to have a tour and to meet and congratulate our students. He spoke with great warmth and passion about education, hard work and also about our young people and what they were doing in terms of their education. I loved listening to him but also I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the students receiving their awards from the Mayor and the photos that will, no doubt, live long in the memory.
On Thursday we collapsed the timetable for the day with an incredible range of activities delivered to our students. For those in Years 7 and 8 they had a Student Self Review Day whereby they had to come to school for a prearranged appointment with their tutor and present to their parents/carers and their tutor a summary of their progress to date in school. I was delighted that so many came and it was an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere throughout.
Year 9 had a wonderful day centred around Prison Me No Way. They got to hear first-hand from serving prisoners, experience a real cell, hear about Road Traffic accidents and how to be safer on the road, first aid and sexual harassment. I am so grateful to the prison service and the Red Cross for the day. It was amazing.
Year 10 went to Leeds to visit the offices of PWC who employ over 250,00 people worldwide in jobs such as accountancy, law, taxation and technology to name but a few. We were to first Bradford school to visit and the day was a huge success in that it really inspired our students to think about their future careers and how best to secure the ones they want. The comments from the staff at PWC were humbling about our students and I am looking forward to the impact the day will have had on them.
Lastly, our Year 11 students had a Super Learning Day focussed on English, Maths and Science. They listened to me talk about my early educational experiences and the importance of hard work. They then spent the day with each of the faculty areas preparing for their GCSE exams and finally finished with them thinking about revision timetables, the importance of having a plan that is realistic and then sticking to it. What was evident in abundance throughout was the care staff have for each of them and the desire to ensure they do their best and leave us well placed to be successful beyond our school.
I want to say a special thanks to Ms. Armitage and the entire staff who worked so hard to make the day a huge success. For me these times are important because they will live long in the memory and hopefully inspire everyone who is a part of our school community to be better people every day, be ambitious and, ultimately, believe that anything is possible.
I will post again next week when I will let you know how our Beckfoot Trust review went. I am already looking forward to sharing that with you!