Head of Sixth Form Autumn 11
Numbers, numbers, numbers! A week of numbers, be it from the pollsters, our 'mathletes' pictured here, or the sales figures ticking over today, Black Friday. Hannah, Richard, Jacob and Giacomo were invited to take part in a Senior Team Maths Challenge Regional Final at the City of London School yesterday. They faced complex problems, challenging their mathematical knowledge and skills to the limit. The day was enjoyed by all and Mrs O'Clee proudly confirmed they had represented the school well, coming 22nd overall.
The theme of my words to the Sixth Form this morning revolved around the importance of Christmas spent with family and friends, building memories and strengthening bonds. I also reminded the students of how fortunate we are to have the feasting and festivities to look forward to and highlighted some statistics on how much money is spent at this time of year. The estimated global spend on presents is £1.7 trillion, or an average of £220 per person for each of the 7.7 billion people on the planet. What was quite sobering was the realisation that 700 million of the world's population are living in extreme poverty, surviving on less than £1.50 per day. It is unlikely that the people in this position will get anything at all for Christmas. I proposed the Sixth Form, including myself, to stop and think about the number of gifts that change hands at this time of year - do we give and receive too many presents during yuletide? Could we imagine keeping to a £10 budget per gift? I appreciate many of our students are generously volunteering their time to support the Lions Club of Maidenhead pack hampers at the Senior Boys site on Sunday 8th December from 9-11am; others are committed to bringing in pre-loved and now unwanted overcoats for us to pass on to the Salvation Army and have already donated boxes of chocolates for our Christmas hampers - thank you. Still others will be helping at food banks and possibly soup kitchens over the holidays. It is at this time of year when we are mindful of doing whatever we can, however small, to show kindness to others. So as we peruse the Black Friday sales and gear up for Christmas 2019 perhaps we can consider the United Nations statistics on achieving zero hunger - the overall cost would be £205 billion per year to ensure no-one, anywhere goes hungry. If we used the £1.7 trillion mentioned previously that we are spending on just this Christmas, we could prevent anyone going hungry for the next 8 years! What a thought! I will continue to encourage and applaud our students for their contribution to making a difference in our local and wider community, as well as the ongoing fundraising focus for supporting our friends in The Gambia.