Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Success and Achievement have to be Earned

Since I last wrote, a great deal has happened at our College.  We have had the results of our mock examinations, parents' evenings, the last of our Open Evenings and Open Saturday.  All of us are acutely aware of the importance of good organisation, hard work, focus and commitment in the remaining weeks.  I have emphasised to all of you, during the talks in February, that this is the time when you have to work harder than you have ever worked to make the necessary sacrifices in the short-term so that you can fulfil your ambitions.  We do not want any of you to leave our College with regrets about not working harder. 

You have everything that you need to help and guide you to success: tremendous teaching, support both in and out of lessons, the range of extra/extension work that is organised by each department and outstanding facilities.  I should also reiterate the importance of an attendance rate of over 95% (since January) in order to progress onto the next year.  Needless to say, our best students are always the ones with an attendance rate of 100%. 

In any walk of life, the outstanding performers are always the ones who show exceptional commitment.  Success and achievement have to be earned.  The performance of our College – top of the performance league tables in the region, in the top 10 nationally for Sixth Form Colleges for ‘A’ level and in the top 4 nationally for value-added – is exceptional, but success and achievement have to be earned through hard work.  Failure to do so or complacency means that there are plenty of others who will replace you at the top.  This is borne out by the apparent decline of a team in red and the dismal performance of my beloved Leeds.  Things will need to change radically for next season.  However, I am delighted about Hull City’s achievements this season, which are deserved and will be great for the city.

On a lighter note, I was very pleased with the success of "Little Shop of Horrors", and the way in which it ‘drew out’ the best qualities within our College community.  With so many students, the range of Departments involved and the 'buzz' that it created, I am confident that this will be highly beneficial for our College and our reputation in the community.  I even heard an elderly couple after the show say, "Wow!  That was brilliant.  How can anyone say that there is no culture in Hull?"

Our College continues to offer tremendous experiences for all of you.  Our Media students returned from a really enjoyable visit to New York about a month ago and this weekend, staff and students have returned from Naples (Geography Department) and Washington (Politics Department).  I know that everyone found the experience very worthwhile, enjoyable but exhausting.  Many thanks to all those who were involved, who organised the trips and were involved in the fundraising events.  The staff and students who are travelling to South Africa at Easter have also been working hard in raising over £4000.  Last week’s 'singing' competition was effective in raising nearly £200 but highly embarrassing for me and for the Senior Team.  I cannot help feeling that Postman Pat was ‘robbed’.  This weekend, our linguists will be travelling to Belgium for the return part of the exchange/ work experience.  I am sure that this will also be really enjoyable and a great preparation for the forthcoming examinations.

By now all of you must be aware of the results of the Student Executive elections for 2014–2015.  I must say that I was really, really pleased to hear such outstanding speeches.  The calibre of the presentations was brilliant and a testament to the changes that have been made by the existing Student Executive.  The fact that the Theatre was 'packed out' last week, the way in which all of you who attended, listened to the presentations in such a supportive way and the amazing turnout was incredible.  I felt really proud and would like to thank all of you who stood for the elections.  It takes courage and effort to do so and speak in front of all your peers.  It will definitely stand you in good stead in the future and is an excellent preparation for the successful careers that you will have.  It is so easy to just sit back and do nothing.  In life, the ‘shakers and movers’ are always the ones who are brave and willing to do something extra.  So regardless of the results, very well done and thank you.  You are instrumental in transforming the culture at our College.

“When the forms of an old culture are dying, the new culture is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure,"

Rudolf Bahro, member of the German Green Party.

Today is the start of Rag Week and already the excitement is mounting.  I have just realised how dangerous it is to be out in the public arena with my ‘purple peg’ for the Hunger Games.  My costume is 'organised' for Friday and I can guarantee that I will not be recognised.  Enjoy yourselves and let's raise plenty of money for the 'Make a Wish Foundation’.