Mrs Rogers' words Lent week 5
‘Superb. Excellent. Brilliant. Amazing. Clear and direct. Really engaging. Very professional. Easy to understand. What an awesome lady! Very good. Very entertaining. Great balance of seriousness and humour. Marilyn knows about life and is not judgemental.’ These are student comments following an engaging and accessible presentation on healthy vs toxic relationships, delivered by founder and CEO of ‘Freedom from Abuse’, Marilyn Hawes, pictured below with Charlie and James. An important part of our work with students is to empower them, to highlight how and why they should be the best version of themselves and to signpost help and support when it is needed, and Marilyn made an invaluable contribution to this on Monday. Another student said the talk was ‘hard-hitting but it needed to be - we are teenagers!
The presentation was straightforward and so relevant for us going forward towards independent living.’ Gaslighting, narcissism, coercive control, love bombing, consent and partying were explored and students listened attentively. Several of our students who are planning to take policing, criminology and law degrees found the talk incredibly helpful. The underlying message, repeated a number of times, was to treat others in the way you want to be treated - with respect.
As National Apprenticeship Week comes to an end I can reflect on an informative week of events highlighting the different levels available and the advantages of becoming an apprentice. Max Downes of Gardiner and Theobold, an independent construction and property consultancy working across all sectors of the built environment, fielded questions during Monday’s briefing. He made two particularly insightful points; firstly that the company you are working for covers the costs of professional training, instead of you and that the additional years of experience, gained by going directly into the workplace, is significantly beneficial. There are numerous high profile apprentices including fashion designers Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, chefs Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, actors including Sir Ian McKellan and Ross Brawn, F1 team principal. Apprenticeships give people the chance to learn and develop all kinds of skills while they work and we encourage our students to research both the university and apprenticeship routes - the ultimate ‘power combination.’
And speaking of ‘power’, many congratulations to Will Dempster, Head Boy, who is attending national trials for the Scotland rugby team and to Jack Downing who has been selected to play for the South West Region. We are immensely proud of these remarkable students who were also key members of our impressive 1st XV Berkshire County Cup winning side.
Will D Jack D
Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to pick up that Valentines card for Monday!