This was the week of opportunity. In Assembly on Monday we congratulated all the parents, staff and students involved in last weekend’s Brighton Marathon events – whether assisting with the Mini Mile warm-ups, or helping to man (woman?) the Water Station at Jubilee Square, we had countless examples of members of the community stepping up to take part. Chocolate was duly dished out and, as we all discovered, the experience is always worth it.
In Assembly on Monday, Mrs Watson spoke about the crisis in Afghanistan: we thought about the six million Afghans who have been displaced from their homes, and those now denied access to education. As a community, we are exploring ways in which we can support the humanitarian aid effort and we will be in touch with parents in due course. As an end note to her assembly, Mrs Watson encouraged us to be grateful for the freedoms and choices we have, and to seize every opportunity. It’s a message we have heard before, but it’s worth hearing again, and it was particularly pertinent this week as clubs and activities got off the ground.
You will have received information from Miss Lowe with details of our club offer this year. There’s Anime, Ani-Racism, Coding, Crochet, Dance, Debating, or the intriguingly titled Pizza, Philosophy & Physics club; water sports and karate have been added to the list, alongside the likes of Badminton and Rugby. The full range of clubs can be found here (Years 7 to 11) or here (Sixth Form). It has been heartening to hear sounds of impromptu singing and piano-playing drifting through the corridors this week, inspired no doubt by the wealth of music clubs on offer, like Brighton Girls Voices – a new choir for Year 8 upwards that will focus on the pop and contemporary repertoire – or Rock and Pop School (I spoke to Mr Maddocks this morning and was delighted to hear there are ambitions for Brighton Girls to host a ‘Battle of the Bands’). Hooray! We’ve got a growing number of singer-songwriters in our midst and we are keen to give them a platform.
I have been delighted by the levels of participation so far: 25 students turned up for Improvisation Club, for example and, all week, the school has been buzzing – that ‘busy’ feeling has returned and we are energised.
During the Sixth Form welcome event on Thursday, Ms Mears spelled out why participation is so important. I have always believed that you “make your own luck” and it’s a tenet I try to live by, so it was great to hear Ms Mears echoing this sentiment for the benefit of our Sixth Form students through the words of Seneca. As Seneca more eloquently put it, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.
I hope that all our students will sign up for something new this year. In school, we will be doing everything we can to ensure that participation becomes the norm – students can expect to hear the words “try something new”, or “take a risk”, “challenge yourself” from their tutors this year. We want minds that are open to opportunities.
While pouring water into hundreds of paper cups at our Brighton Marathon water station last weekend, our team leader, Pip, gifted us the perfect metaphor. To prevent us from running out of water, we were told to fill the cups “half full”.
Note to self: half full, not half empty.