Head's Words Summer Term Week 6
This week – exams, sporting success, energy drinks, and the power of drama.
With public exams in full swing we now start to look to the future for Year 7-10. On Friday we announced the appointments for Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl for 2016-17. After an intensive application process including letter of application, interview with Headteacher, a group problem solving activity and taking soundings from the Year 10 cohort and Staff the following appointments have been made.
Head Girl - Ellie Jones
Deputy Head Girl - Maddie Sparks
Deputy Head Girl - Allegra Slater
The standard of all the applicants was extremely high and the non-successful candidates have been strongly advised to put their name forward for one of the other senior prefect posts. The full list will be announced in due course.
I was delighted to hand out winning RBWM hockey league medals to the Year 9 team in assembly – that gave us a clean sweep of the Under 14, 13 and 123 leagues – well done girls. Elsewhere in the bulletin you will see great news about tennis and athletics. The U15 girls won all of their area matches and have qualified for the knockout stages of the Aegon Schools Team Tennis Tournament. The U13 girls squad have one more fixture, which if they win they too will qualify through to the knockout stages.
In athletics we have nine Senior Girls representing RBWM at the County Athletics Championships in June – full details here. Good luck to all of our tennis and athletics performers over the coming weeks.
Chatting to some of our Year 8 I was interested to hear about the impact that going to see “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” had upon them. From the stupendous acting, great set design to the challenging subject matter of autism it was clearly a dramatic experience that will resonate with them into the future.
In recent assemblies I have been dealing with some of the challenges and temptations that face young people. Having covered sleep deprivation, social media and mobile technology this week I moved on to the subject of ‘energy drinks’. National sales of such drinks have rocketed from 212 million litres in 2004, to 483 million litres in 2014 and is expected to top 570 million by 2018. Their consumption by adolescents gives cause for concern due to the high level of sugar and caffeine contained within them. We have always been aware of the effect of coffee, and its over consumption but perhaps have been less aware of the impact of so called energy drinks on short term and long term health. Like in all things nutritional it is the over-consumption that is the problem, not the occasional use, and we looked at the impact on concentration, sleep, heart rhythm irregularities, increased abdominal pain and so on. We also had an opportunity to understand how creative and well produced advertising campaigns gave a benign, not to say, advantageous spin to the regular consumption of such drinks. I finished with my usual reflection on things food related – a balance of everything is probably the best approach!
Older students can sometimes be tempted to burn the midnight study hours supplemented by such energy drinks. Our hope is that Years 7 to 10 will be taking a far more sensible approach to next week’s examinations, with a mixture of revision, rest and recreation. I hope also that they will view their results when they receive them in an equally balanced way. If they have revised and prepared well they can be proud of the outcomes. Parents and pupils also need to be very aware that the production of examination papers and the subsequent marking is nothing like as precise a science as you might think. As an ex Chief Examiner I am only too aware of the huge variability of the process, and not to expect analytical precision in what can be quite a subjective process – except in adding up the marks of course!
So please keep everything calm and have a lovely weekend.
I think what makes people fascinating is conflict, it’s drama, it’s the human condition. Nobody wants to watch perfection.