It’s great to be able to welcome everyone back (new and old) after a enjoyable summer, and I hope the Year 7s are starting to settle in and get used to the staircases and new environment. I can remember how daunting it was to come into a completely new space after spending 7 years in my small primary school down the road. Additionally, it’s been amazing to come back to our shiny new Sixth Form Centre, especially witnessing 3 large sofas somehow managing to get up all 4 floors with the aid of Mr Keeley, Jose and Mr Robertson. It was certainly a good fitness test…
Following this, last Friday we had the pleasure of a self defence and first aid workshop. We started off with a morning of basic but vital medical training – including CPR and defibrillator use which hopefully none of us will never have to use! Following a quick lunch, we were launched head first into self defence; and most importantly how it is not a black and white case of “stranger danger”. The most important thing I learnt was that attacks can come from anyone, but more often than not, from someone you know. Our instructor, Debi Steven was particularly inspiring given her background as a rape victim but also how she managed to turn her life around to become a martial arts expert and run her own training centre. She now runs these workshops to empower women to try and prevent these situations. After a hands on fake attack scenario (where we aimed to put her advice to practice against her fellow burly instructors) we certainly felt it. Even Miss Devine took part, surprising many of us with her feisty attitude!
Early this Tuesday morning, Ines and I set out on our trek to Epping to visit the Forest School in Snaresbrook. Thinking we had the wrong address (being in the middle of a forest) we started to panic until we saw others setting down another small country path and soon enough were being greeted by the Sixth Form prefects in their blue gowns. We started the morning with a talk by Everest mountaineer and pole crosser, Bonita Norris. She spoke of her two year journey back in 2008 from novice climber to the UK’s youngest woman to climb Everest. She had many profound stories about her climbing, including the importance of team work and leadership when crossing extremely dangerous areas – one step wrong, and you could end up down a 100m tall crevasse. She said the physical rope binding each climber every morning gave her so much strength and confidence. Each person relies so heavily on the people directly in front and behind; they are quite literally your lifeline, which was exactly the case when she fell down not one, but three crevasses in one day! After a quick break, we met the vivacious Chris Jenkinson in a guide to public speaking. After being told to write the dreaded “6 lines about ourselves”, several brave volunteers stood up and performed their impromptu speeches. Following this we had a quick overview on types of leaders and their styles. Role models such as Malala Yousafzai and Nelson Mandela were used as examples of exemplary leadership but also highlighted the important qualities of a leader such as humility, communication and integrity to name but a few. To end the day, we met three of the previous Head Boys at the Forest School and had a short Q&A session on their experiences, lessons learnt and advice for us in the next academic year.
Finally here is the list of the School Officers for 2016/7. If you see any of us around school, be sure to say hello!
Head Girl – Millie Coady-Booth
Deputy Head Girl – Ines Bunge
Iona House Captain – Grace Humphrey
Deputy Iona House Captain – Florence Smith
Canterbury House Captain – Ella Hutchinson
Deputy Canterbury House Captain – Melissa Hardinge
Walsingham House Captain – Ines Bunge
Deputy Walsingham House Captain – Isabella Kimmel
Santiago House Captain – Meryem Akbaba
Deputy Santiago House Captain – Lydia Bear
Music Captain – Mathilde Barclay
Sports Captain – Maria Perez-Hernandez
Drama Captain – Ella Jackson
Head Girl 2016/7