The following speech was given by our Head Girl at our school’s open day in September 2013.
Hello and welcome to The Christian School open day. My name is Lara Hooke and I am in year 11.
I joined this school in the juniors in year four. I changed school because we – my family and I – felt as though the other school didn’t understand me at all. I found it hard to interact with the teachers and it felt as though they didn’t accept me for who I was.
From the day I started at this school, a change I noticed immediately was the way that the teachers treated me. They made me feel special. They made me feel part of the school. They put so much effort into finding ways for me to be successful.
The one to one teaching opportunities that come with smaller classes help every pupil to achieve the best that they can, and the teachers are all very special and committed people as well.
And because of this school I know that I have changed and grown. When I first came to this school, I didn’t have any self-confidence. I never dreamed that I would be standing here representing the school as head girl. And all those years ago I was so painfully shy that I don’t think I would have wanted to.
Because I have a personal relationship with the teachers and pupils, even those in a different year to me, the school feels like one big family where everyone knows and respects each other. I have become good friends with pupils of all ages and even started up an origami club that I run for the years 5,6 and 7.
Pupils have fantastic opportunities to go on exciting trips to places like Buckingham Palace, Shakespeare’s globe theatre and museums, and sometimes the senior pupils even go further like to Spain and France.
Towards the end of the year the years 6 to 10 go away for a week. For the last two years they have stayed on a boat in Chichester with the Christian Youth Enterprise. When I was in year 10 I was reluctant to go because I had not been away from home for so long, but with encouragement from all the teachers – they are always very encouraging and positive – I ended up going and had an amazing time, while learning new activities, and building great relationships with the teachers, pupils and parents that went.
I would have loved to go this year as well but it was work experience time. We are very lucky at TCST and are helped in finding places that support what we want to do for careers where possible. I was very fortunate that the school found a work experience place in a primary school for me – I want to be a teacher when I leave university, and that was a wonderful experience too.
Over the last almost 8 years, I have had so much more fun than I thought I could have at school, learned so many things I don’t think I could have learned in any other environment (like compassion – what compassion feels like, and how to be compassionate), and made friends among the pupils and teachers who I will remember with love forever. And if I could, I would do it all again tomorrow!
Thank you I hope you have enjoyed coming to the open day and hope to see you again.