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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

from Nursery to Sixth Form

Mrs Rogers' Weekly Words Lent 4

Making a difference is central to the Sixth Form culture and Leah, pictured here, has certainly invested the time and energy required to support the Australian Koala Foundation's work following the devastating bush fires there. She planned and organised a sponsored swim in which she received donations in excess of £500! And not satisfied with that she ran a cake sale with a couple of like-minded friends, collecting more than £70 and still intends to sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts next week to raise more money for the charity. As Leah is aware, the money is important to the charity but just as important, she has developed an understanding of the need to be proactive and hard working to see service centred ideas come to fruition. Anna, one of Leah's friends, sent 'koala' decorated cupcakes in with her Dad to work and was delighted that not only were all the goodies bought, but generous donations towards the cause were also made, amounting to more than £110!

Our visiting speaker, James Darley, has spent the majority of his professional life in education working for a charity called Teach First. He was a key member of the original leadership team which established Teach First more than 15 years ago. As Head of Recruitment he recruited more than 10,000 teachers to work in some of the most challenging schools across the country. Since then, James has gone on to set up four further charities addressing social inequality in other key areas of public service including policing, children's social care, mental health and prisons. He now runs Transform Society, a social enterprise driven to inspire a generation towards front facing service and has placed more than 3,000 graduate roles with the most prestigious employers in the sector. James told the students about the inequity inherent in our society and urged them to consider spending some time, perhaps during a gap year, working with the charities he leads, making the difference so needed whilst simultaneously developing the numerous transferable skills universities and employers are looking for. A win-win.

James returns to speak to those Year 12 students interested in finding out more about the myriad opportunities available. They could secure summer work experience placements with one of the charities whilst the Year 13 students considering a gap year might find opportunities to use that time profitably as part of the Transform Society initiative.

Monday was Holocaust Memorial Day and as a student body we focused on why we still remember the events of more than 75 years ago and continue to reflect on the horrors of that time. Ms Bullough reminded us of the 'monster' that lies in some individuals still and that as a society we must focus on 'agape', compassion and kindness to ensure such events are never repeated. Volunteering, looking at the difficulties and challenges faced by others, enables us to concentrate on providing help and comfort to those in need. It also shifts the focus away from ourselves to others which ultimately benefits our own mental health, helping us get a perspective on the issues we are dealing with. This does not mean we belittle our own challenges but does help us to achieve a realistic view of our circumstances.

And on that note, have a peaceful and refreshing weekend.

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1 College Avenue, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 6AW

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