Last week on Thursday, the Felsted CCF was out of school for their annual range day. Conditions were not very kind, but the cadets still maintained their enthusiasm (mostly!) throughout the day. The Cadets provides a real opportunity for our students to push themselves out of their comfort zone, to build their teamwork skills and to develop further their leadership skills. On this occasion, with winds blowing and the rain only stopping to allow sleet to take its place, this was a day to test resilience and perseverance as well, but I am delighted to report that the response of those involved was exemplary. I would also like to take the opportunity to pass my thanks to the staff who accompanied this trip, and made the day as enjoyable as it could be under trying circumstances. I would also like to thank the senior pupils who participated throughout the day in leadership roles, helping to ensure that the various stands operated well.
I also wanted to write today about the inspiring speeches delivered by Prep School pupils in response to the challenge of World Speech Day. The winning entries from each year group (Year 2 up to Year 8) spoke on a range of the United Nations sustainable development goals (https://sdgs.un.org/goals). The pupils spoke with incredible passion about a range of topics including responsible consumption (goal 12), gender equality (goal 5) and clean water and sanitation (goal 6). I was fortunate to be one of the judges, along with Miranda Norris (FPS Head), Jenny Burrett (Former FPS Head) and Stephen Duckitt (the Head at Thorpe Hall School) and we had the extremely challenging task of selecting the winners from this group. What was most powerful about the event was the passion and determination with which all the pupils spoke not just about the challenges, but also about the solutions. With our sustainability drive starting to gain momentum, it is really inspiring to see that the youngest Felstedians are embracing the topic and taking a lead in driving change within and beyond their own community. I was also very grateful to Olivia M and Ben Y who came and performed an extract from their Shakespearean studies to entertain the audience while we were adjudicating, and to Niamh L who spoke to the audience about neurodiversity and the role that it has played in her life.
Coming up next week, on Thursday afternoon, we have the whole school Charity Colour Run. I very much hope that all the students will get themselves involved in this event, and enjoy the event, but also remember what we are doing this for. Supporting our charities has never been more important, with Chess Homeless reporting significant year on year increases in rough sleeping, Young Minds seeing an increase in adolescent mental health concerns, and with Malawi currently in a state of national disaster following the impact of Storm Freddy, the cyclone that has just hit the country. We know that we have the capacity to make a real difference to all of these charities (and the others that we are supporting as well) through events like this, but even more than the money that we can raise, we want to raise awareness among our community of the needs that are out there, so that we can ensure that we provide ongoing support now and into the future.
Have a very good weekend.
Head, Felsted School