Giving and Getting

In our Easter assembly this morning, after considering concepts of sacrifice and hope, I invited the students to reflect on their current give/take ratio. Any of us feeling that we take more than we give might feel this is an appropriate time of year to seek to redress the balance.

A similar thought came to me earlier in the month when I had the pleasure of accompanying one of our Tycoon in Schools groups to Buckingham Palace (pictured), where they were amongst 8 finalists in this national competition. For the second year running an AKS team was runner-up and was presented with a trophy by HRH The Duke of York along with the ‘Dragon’ himself, Peter Jones. Whilst any Head would be proud to lead a school that achieves such entrepreneurial success, the real pride was in the feedback I received on the day about our six students. So many people came up to me to comment on how the AKS team had befriended the other teams, showed interest in their business ideas and encouraged them on the day. As we left, other teams made a point of thanking ours. They even received written thanks from their competitors after the event.

For me, this speaks of the ‘success and value’ that we believe is one of the defining characteristics of our school. AKS students understand that education is not just about achievement, it is also about how one uses that opportunity for the benefit of the world around us. I for one believe that our community, our country, our world, need more young people with this attitude.

This characteristic of AKS students becomes more apparent with every week that passes. This year I have seen the ambition and passion of junior and senior school students working together to find ways to engage with and learn from older members of our locality, with heart-warming results. However much these older people appreciate their efforts, inevitably the real benefit is to the students themselves. They are challenged; they imagine, consult, take advice, plan, take measured risks and deliver. They become independent and experiential learners, confident but not arrogant, growing through the friendship and advancement of others.

Those I know who recruit to college, university and employment are looking for individuals who understand what they can give as well as what they can get.

M H P Walton