Over the last week, I have twice found myself overcome, by a lump in my throat and a tear welling in my eye. The first moment came when a long serving member of the Sixth Form team burst in my office to tell me, with tears in her eyes, that one of our students had been accepted to Cambridge University. Her sense of pride and emotion was palpable and I found myself close to tears; she was lucky that the Head of Sixth Form was on hand to give her a hug, otherwise I fear we would have both sobbed awkward tears of joy in my office (headteachers don’t cry you know!). This is a symbolic moment for us and a powerful message to our school and community; that our young people can compete with the elite educational institutions that supply the Oxbridge pipeline.
The second moment came when one of our fabulous support staff brought a year 10 boy into my office to read to me. Until last year this boy could not read. The pride in his achievement at reading this book out loud was inspirational. It is clear that even in his mother tongue he had not read a book, and the fact that he now can, will fundamentally change the rest of his life. That it was Moor Park staff that spotted then supported this achievement, makes me so very proud. We should never forget the primacy of our work, the way that we shape lives and the imprint that we leave on a child’s future. Schools are only buildings with people in them, what they achieve however is astonishing.