Welcome Message from the Senior Executive
This speech, delivered in 4 parts by the members of the Senior Executive 2016-2107 was delivered to the whole school assembly on the first day of the new session.
I would like to welcome you all back after the summer holidays and an especially big welcome to the first years starting anew. I wish you all great success in your time here at Alford Academy. To everyone who sat exams this year I hope the results were what you wanted and can carry on with your career aspirations. If, however, you were dissatisfied with your results I implore you to take this year as an opportunity to work even harder so you know they will be better next year. As the Japanese say fall down 7 times- stand up 8. One of the most important lessons that you’ll learn here is how to pick yourself up and move on after things don’t go so well.
On that note my message for everyone this year is one of endeavour, determination and hard work. Aim to push yourself as far as you can. Make this year an opportunity to show your teachers, future employers and universities and most importantly yourself just what you are capable of.
I found inspiration for this speech whilst watching T.V. on one of this summer’s many overcast, inclement days. This is the year of the Paralympic games and channel 4 released an advertisement showcasing the amazing lives of the Paralympians. I believe that this advert carried a very important and poignant message.
‘Yes I can.’ Three very powerful words
To take one of the examples shown. We see a woman, without any arms, flying a plane with her feet. My initial reaction was of wonder and amazement, and then I realised it harboured a deeper message that this woman, did something that no one, not even I thought she could. She believed in herself and proved everyone else wrong. Her name is Jessica Cox and she is a certified SCUBA diver, pilot, has her driver’s license and is a black belt in karate. If that is not inspiration, then what is. I implore everyone here today to do the same in their academic career. Push through barriers and live beyond expectations. In life we always set expectations for ourselves and for others, it is intrinsic in our nature but it is important to not be bound by them. Be powered by these expectations to push beyond walls and limitations and achieve the maximum that you can achieve- something I know to be very high for everyone here today because ‘yes, you can.’
On behalf of the whole school, I wish our new S1’s a warm welcome to Alford Academy. The step from primary to secondary may seem like a daunting change at first, as this is how I remember feeling, but I soon realised that the kindness and support from the staff and pupils here at Alford Academy made the transition into this fantastic school very easy for me, which I’m sure you will experience in the coming weeks. Looking back at my time in S1, I believe that working hard from the very start will set you on your way to achieving the very best that you can in your time at Alford Academy. Most importantly, enjoy making new friends and finding out which subjects you enjoy, and don’t worry about your year ahead, as everyone in this school will be here to help you.
To our new S2’s, as you are no longer the youngest year in the school, you have the responsibility of looking out for our new S1’s, as do the rest of the year groups. If you haven’t already, getting involved in the school community, and taking on leadership roles will help you to become more confident, while also enhancing your personal qualities, which are essential in the workplace. It is also important to stay motivated and take pride in your school work, while starting to think about your future and the subjects you enjoy, as next year you will make your subject choices. I hope you have another great year at Alford, setting your goals and aspirations high.
As you are now the oldest year in the Junior phase, you now have the responsibility of being an effective role model to the younger years. As you have now chosen your subjects for this session, it is important to try your very best in these classes you enjoy, as next year you will begin your first National Qualifications, with your exams in S4. Having a good work ethic and showing commitment to your studies this year will prepare you to succeed when you move into S4, as you will already have the right work mindset. The work load in S3 will step up compared to being in S2, but as long as you keep on top of your studies and put in the effort, there’s nothing stopping you from reaching your aspirations for the year ahead.
I remember well how slightly terrifying the prospect of your first year of exams is. You feel pressure from your teachers, your peers, and you also put a lot of pressure on yourself. The best advise I can give you is to get stuck in and work from the very start of the year because it goes by so fast. I know it’s hard, but motivate yourself to keep on top of your workload. This is surprisingly easy if you just put down your phone for a few hours when you get home. By working hard this year you will be fine. Just keep the mentality that yes I can achieve my goals: get the results I want, become a prefect, or even set up or lead a group. You have so much potential. Aspire, believe and achieve.
The same applies to you this year though your workload really does increase. Whether its new subjects you’re taking or if you’ve moved onto your highers just remember to try and keep a good balance between your personal life and you’re school work. You need time to do your school work to the highest possible standard but you also
need time to relax. I know may of you have part time jobs and lots of roles and hobbies, which is really
good but if you begin to find that this too much for you to do you have to ask yourself what you really need to be spending your time doing. I can’t stress enough that’s you should start to plan your time well so there’s no need
to panic near the end of the year. But you’ve got this far, you’ve been through this before so just believe that you can
do well, put in the work and you will pass with flying colours.
I know none of us really know what to expect from this year so I think the main thing to say is to carry on working your hardest so that you can achieve your best. We have all been through the exam process twice now, however I know it doesn’t make it any less daunting but if you stay on top of all you work from the start of the year, it will make exams easier and also give more time for you to enjoy S6. You also need to start thinking about your future, a scary prospect I know, but if you start planning soon and keep up to date with UCAS forms, job opportunities and apprenticeships then it will make your life a lot easier, and less stressful. This is our last year where so many great opportunities will be offered to us so freely so I highly recommend you take as many as possible. You never know, one of these opportunities could be a key element in your future life. S6 is our last year together so let’s make the most of it, let’s put ourselves out there. I have no doubt that everyone in this year will achieve great things in the future. So, if you work hard then yes you can get the grades you want and you can leave next year knowing that yes you did reach your full potential at Alford Academy.
So to everyone here, if there’s one thing that you remember from what was said today it’s the idea that you can do it, whatever it is. The idea that yes you can, whether it’s making new friends, joining new clubs or sitting exams, you can do it. Believing in yourself is the first step to achieving your goals, once to truly believe in yourself there are no boundaries or limitations which can hold you back. So, have a brilliant year, work hard, have fun and if you’re ever in doubt of yourself, just remember, yes you can.