Thursday, 15 May 2014

Thinking about the “Next Stage"

The Wyke journey started for many of you over 2 years ago, when you began the process of thinking about the “next stage".  A line from "The Clash" comes to mind,

                                "Should I stay or should I go…"

Perhaps one should also add, or “should I go elsewhere".

You then attended the Open Evenings, Open Saturdays and were interviewed at Wyke.  Do you remember who interviewed you?  You took your GCSEs and came to Wyke Start.  What do you remember about that?  Throughout your Year 11 career, if you were in an 11–18 school, you were probably bombarded with stories and anecdotes about Wyke.  Do you remember what these were and were they true?  Clearly, this didn't put you off and you walked through the main entrance on that first day in September.

Full of trepidation, angst and excitement, you plunged into the sea of experience, were whisked off to Fort Paull, returned and survived.  I hope that you did more than "survive".  I am confident that you have thrived, grown, matured, worked really hard, had fun and are fulfilling your potential.

I am so delighted by the many conversations that I have had with you and I am continually surprised by your enthusiasm, effervescence and humour.  Just today, I talked to a student, J.D., who said,

"It doesn't matter what your teacher is like but it is what you put in that counts…".

This young man has been a model student who "works hard and plays hard".  Long may that continue because top employers want people who communicate well, have lots of interests and are prepared to "have a go".

As I sit and write this, many of you are coming out of exams whilst others are working hard and preparing.  Remember what I said to you if you were in one of my talks, 'have no regrets' and do not leave our College wishing that you had done more.  Edith Piaf’s song comes to mind:

                                "Non, je ne regrette rien…”.

Life is short and you have to ensure that all that you do is with your full commitment.  Never do anything half-heartedly.  The world is full of people who either expect things to be done for them or accept that things will be done to them, and then moan.  The most successful people in life are the ones who take control.

When I think back to this year, I was thrilled to witness the wonderful talks that I heard at the hustings for the Student Executive.  I am full of admiration for those of you who stood up in front of your peers and had the courage to say what you believed in.  I was also very pleased to be in the audience and experience the attentive way in which you listened and encouraged your fellow students.

This year has been very successful and already the accolades are coming in: our 1st, 2nd and 3rd XI football teams are league champions: our 4th team were second in the league to the 3rd team; our 1st team in netball are the league winners and County Champions for the third year; our basketball team are the league winners and County Champions; you have won countless awards in other sports, music, dance and drama.  So many of you have won medals in mathematics, science, poetry and the arts.  Many of you have had amazing offers from the most prestigious universities, on the most prestigious courses and won places on the aspirational summer schools through the Sutton Trust.  I am sure that you will have noticed the International Honours board as you come in to our College.

So very well done and our own Chris Robinson has said to his faculty, "We are in the final few minutes of the game and we must remain focused."  We all know that games can be won right at the end.  

I would like to finish with two messages:

·         Remember to enjoy and embrace life and be ‘crazy’.  The words from Paul Simon come to mind,

“I met my old lover (friends from Wyke)
on the streets last night,
She (they) seemed so glad to see me we just smiled;
We talked about the good times (at Wyke) and we drank ourselves some wine
Still crazy after all these years."

·         Enjoy the game this Saturday and let's hope that Hull City achieve success for all of you and the city.  (My beloved Leeds have not been in a Wembley final since the mid-90s).