I often listen to Chris Evans on Radio 2, as I drive into work, talking to children who ring to tell him what they are doing for the first time.
I often listen to Chris Evans on Radio 2, as I drive into work, talking to children who ring to tell him what they are doing for the first time. It is always lovely to hear the anticipation and excitement in their voices before they embark on their new venture, and to then listen to the joy and pride when they recount their experiences and mark themselves out of ten. The concept of doing something for the first time clearly brings with it mixed feelings – apprehension and hope. In many ways, we all need to experience both emotions. For some, the anxiety of doing something new is a daunting prospect, but for others, it will be looked upon with optimism. However, I do feel that embarking upon new projects or interests requires a large degree of courage – often referred to as ‘pluck’. I also believe that it is an essential part of our personal development and that this can be at any age. Indeed, I can remember only too well, when I first learnt to ski at the age of 29 – it was certainly something I was eager to do, but equally, I had my concerns. However, once I had taken that first terrifying ‘step’ onto the mountain, I was hooked and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of my new experience.
Our values of ‘enterprise’ at Invicta advocate the need to take risks and look at things from a fresh and ‘new’ perspective. In exactly the same way as when I enjoy listening to the children who talk to Chris Evans, I love to provide the opportunities for our students to do something different and to encourage them to take risks or learn something new. This can be in so many aspects of our day to day school life, along with preparation for adult life. Just this week, we have seen examples of this – students participating in the Secondary Maths Challenge, students helping to organise the Burns Night Supper, Year 7 – 9 students and their parents working together to complete challenges at our ‘Aspire’ Evening, students from across the school who took part in our annual Speaking Competition, and students who are taking part in the RSPB’s Bird Watch. For many of these students, their involvement was a new experience – they were I am sure, initially nervous of what it may entail, but having now participated, they can reflect with confidence on how they have benefitted. Yes, it may well have been daunting, and it clearly entailed hard work, and some anxiety, but the personal satisfaction derived from the venture undoubtedly has enabled our students to ‘grow’ in confidence. Having taken that ‘first step’ I am sure that they are now a little more prepared to try new things in the future. I would like to congratulate these students – I am extremely proud of them!
I shall now look forward to seeing our Year 8 and Year 11 students try something new in their Taster Day lessons this week, to help them decide on their GCSE and A Level options. This, along with the Young Musician Competition on Wednesday, our Year 11 Hospitality Event on Thursday and Year 7 going to Paris for their first residential on Friday, will provide many opportunities for girls to be bold and brave in order to experience something new. I do hope that they enjoy their challenges and new experiences – just like my first skiing experience! They will never forget it and will be so pleased that they took that ‘first step’!