End of the Year

In school it is report writing time, when a summary of a student’s efforts and achievement are sent to parents. Comments on examination results and wider school participation, an opportunity for us to be accountable for how our teaching has led to their learning. We hope these reports are informative and useful, giving insight into how students can achieve even more.

And so to the traditional end of year prize-giving events. Some prizes are academic in nature, some performing in other fields, sporting, creative, leadership, teamwork, social responsibility and overcoming individual challenges. There are so many ways that students need and deserve recognition. For this reason I love attending prize-giving ceremonies, whilst also feeling a certain frustration that they can only scratch the surface of what our students actually do and that we cannot give every pupil some form of prize or formal recognition. Achievement happens for every student, every day and in every subject or area of activity.

So what is prizeworthy? At one end of the spectrum, one might applaud our Tycoon in Schools groups who win this national competition year after year – this year’s overall UK winners received their award at Buckingham Palace (pictured) last month. At the other end are so many more achievements that are not so visible, such as the student I saw today in class, grasping how 6 figure map references work. That is the joy of our profession, seeing individuals recognise their own step-by-step development. I believe this is helped by our ethos of self-reflection, where students do stop and consider how they have progressed and how they can do even better.

After the summer examination results, I will be moving on. I naturally reflect on my own 5 years here. Are there things I’m proud to have achieved at AKS? Absolutely. Are there things I could have done better? Of course. Luckily no-one publishes a report on how I’ve progressed. If they did, they might comment on a certain amount of trial and error in my work. If perceptive, it would also recognise my overriding feeling of gratitude, to the students, parents, colleagues and governors at AKS who have given me this opportunity and, in doing so, have taught me so much

M H P Walton