Head Boy & Head Girl's Speech
Presentation Evening November 2018
As Head Girl and Head Boy of Moor End Academy we would also like to extend a warm welcome you to tonight at our annual Presentation Evening.
As adolescents growing up in the rapidly changing 21st century, we hear countless negative stereotypes about our age group; that we are lazy, rude and selfish. I could go on. Moreover, we are living in an unprecedented era of social media and its influence on how we see both ourselves and others. Indeed, social media bombards us with constant pressure to be perfect, combined with unrealistic imagery and lifestyles with which we are made to compare ourselves. So then, opportunities to reinforce the pride in ourselves, celebrate our achievements and solidify our bond as a school community are welcomed.
Tonight is a celebration for our community and everyone who is part of that community, be they a student, former student, parent, teacher or one of our distinguished guests. It is public recognition of all you have achieved over the last academic year, both within the curriculum and in your free time. It’s an opportunity to reflect upon and acknowledge the efforts you have put in, applaud our year 11 leavers for their tremendous efforts in their GCSEs and recognise the vast talents that lie within our academy. It is an evening of recognition for those who excel, both in attainment and achievement, in all manner of subjects and for those who consistently do the right thing. On a personal note, it is an evening which makes me even prouder to be your Head Girl.
As governments and even prime ministers change, so invariably, do the goal posts in education. Our generation has seen vast transformations of our curriculum, assessments and even GCSE grades have changed from letters to numbers! Teachers have had to reflect upon both what and how they teach, and as students we have also had to adapt as we make our way along the path known as year GCSE outcomes improve, leading to ever greater pressure upon us.
Over 77.3% of people pass 5 or more GCSEs at grade 5 or above, that’s more than 3 quarters of this room! Look at the person next to you, and then reflect, as one of you may be the person who discovers a cure for cancer. However, with hard work, why can’t it be both of you? Anything is possible, you are in charge of your education and of your future. Think of what you want most right now, and work towards it, strive for success, strive for greatness, and most importantly strive for happiness. Thus; expectations upon us are greater than ever, but as true Moorenders we have risen to the challenge. Tonight, we will see our spirit and tenacity recognised.
Since our last presentation evening we have gained a new principal and are now well on our way on our journey to being world class, having had recognition in September from the director of World Class Schools that Moor End has what it takes. Transformation has taken place at a rapid pace; from the way our lessons are structured to ensure that we are challenged and taken out of our comfort zone every lesson, every day; to the way in which we can now sit and eat our dinner in a great environment, thus making the most of our social time, our school life has changed enormously. Never as a community have we been stronger; we have lost a well- loved member of staff, but we pulled together and supported each other, staff and students together. Mr Griffiths, we hope that you are watching over us tonight, and that we have done you proud. In our personal lives some of us will also have lost people who inspired us, encountered barriers and faced struggles.
Some people say that “Life is a rollercoaster”. I disagree. Life is like a butterfly, it starts off as an egg, our nursery years. Then it turns into a caterpillar and shortly after into a chrysalis. In that time span, what started off as an egg turns into a majestic butterfly, however, without the time and effort as a chrysalis it wouldn’t be a butterfly. Thus without hard work and dedication we wouldn’t be able to do anything. Yes, we will meet hurdles in our individual races to success, and sometimes we can fall hard. However, as Confucious so aptly wrote, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
In the wider context, the world around us has arguably become a confusing and unsettled time. From Brexit to climate change; from war to foreign politics, our surroundings are changing, and history is being re-written. But one thing has remained constant; our ability as Moorenders to work alongside each other celebrating our diversity and learning from one another. And as we sit in this hall tonight sharing our successes and efforts, we feel proud of one another regardless of our differences. As Jo Cox said, “We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”
This collaborative ethos is ingrained in us from our first day in year 7, and will stay with us throughout our lives. Alongside our academic skills we will show and share these values wherever we go. As we take our tentative steps into the wider world we will be forever grateful for the broad ranging experiences, diverse cohort and inspirational teaching that our academy has provided us with. According to Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’”. Moor End Academy has provided us and continues to provide us with the education which enables us to develop the skills, ambition and mindset required to be the leaders of tomorrow. Leaders who inspire with respect, ambition and responsibility. Within this room there are students for whom there are no limits. Look around; you may even have the next Mr Rafiq, Theresa May or even Bill Gates sitting next to you!
The lessons we have learnt, the pride we share in each other and the morals and integrity which have been ingrained in us will be seen wherever we go. We can be proud of our beginnings, shout loudly of our roots and share our ethos and values with whomever we encounter. Students both present and former, the future is yours; grab it with both hands and see where it takes you. We are Moor End. We are world class.
Brwa Hassan & Sara Shafi