This week, we celebrate the achievements of many of our students at the Invicta Awards Ceremony and we also welcome our ‘new’ Year 7 on their Taster Day.
This week, we celebrate the achievements of many of our students at the Invicta Awards Ceremony and we also welcome our ‘new’ Year 7 on their Taster Day. Both these very important events, highlight to me, the importance of inclusion – something that I have reflected upon this weekend and do so, very regularly.
What does it feel like to be included? To be able, honestly and openly, to be yourself and know that you will be welcomed, encouraged, supported and cared for because of that which makes you individual, distinctive or different? The answer is, it feels absolutely amazing - knowing that you are accepted because you are you and not because you are some edited version of yourself; that your perspective, experience, knowledge and skills are valued and can contribute towards the life and growth of the community of which you are a part, for as long as you are a part of it. It is just this kind of attitude that Invicta seeks to foster and this week is no exception.
We tend to take for granted and consider normal the range of nationalities, backgrounds, interests, experiences and views to be found at Invicta. But, what is more important and what really makes us diverse, I think, are the ways, as a community, in which we genuinely value the individual. So, it is lovely to see that we have awards this week for students who have been completely ‘individual’ in their approach to their study of a subject, their extra-curricular interests and their involvement in the school community. It is for this reason, that we are really looking forward to celebrating our students’ wonderful achievements this evening. Equally, I know that on Thursday, as our ‘new’ Year 7 go home and talk to their families about their Taster Day, they will discuss with great excitement the way in which they were made welcome, encouraged to share their individual journey’s to a grammar school education and most importantly, made to feel comfortable in their new environment because staff and students took the time to get to know them as individuals – their likes, dislikes, passions and worries.
What has always struck me since I have worked at Invicta, is the way it embraces individuality, flexibility and change - both in the way it thinks and the way it operates. We are open to new ideas, and celebrate this all the time. This culture of openness and enquiry is a real strength, as well as an enjoyable one in which to participate, and it makes for an inclusive school which embraces diversity for the enrichment it inevitably brings. So, as we celebrate the individual achievements of our students this evening, I ask you to reflect too, on how we can continue to do this for next academic year. I love the fact that this week, we are celebrating the achievements of our students this year, but equally, we are launching this exciting journey to new students too. Life is never dull at Invicta!