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Principal’s Weekly Address: 09 Sep 2019

Wednesday 11 Sep 2019
- FC drseuss - Principal’s Weekly Address: 09 Sep 2019

By: Louise North – Principal and Head of The Senior School, Framlingham College


“You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself any direction you choose”

I’m a big fan of Dr Seuss and these words sum up the position that each one of us is lucky enough to be in as we begin the first full week of our Autumn term.

  • Whether you are in Year 9 and just joining the Senior School,
  • In Year 10 embarking on GCSE courses,
  • Or Year 11 where you are in the final straight of GCSEs,
  • Or in Year 12, with more independence and organisation expected of you as you start your new Sixth Form courses,
  • Or Year 13, where the end of the Framlingham journey is closing in quickly and there’s still so much for you to do.

Wherever you are on this journey, what you get out of the time you have, is very much down to you and the choices that you make. Do you attend that learning hub or not? Do you chat with your friends or take yourself away somewhere quiet to work, do you consider a spare 15 minutes as an opportunity to get something done or an opportunity to do nothing?

At this point, I want to tell you of some people whose choices last year were the right ones, who did take advantage of the time that they had to work hard, both in the classroom and beyond, who did go that extra mile and stay focused, and who did achieve very highly.

From last year’s Year 13:

  • Zaylie Mills achieved A*A*A*A and is off to study Medicine at Birmingham.
  • Rose Winter gained a full Sports Scholarship to Stanford USA, but not at the cost of her academic work, quite the opposite, as she achieved A*AA.
  • Amelia Schroeter also achieved A*AA and is applying to Cambridge to study English in 2020.

Be inspired by their success and achievement. Be determined to follow in their footsteps, go the extra mile because you only get out of life what you put in. So make sure what you put in, is your best.

At GCSE, Niall Pearson-Shaul, Tallulah Torrance, Lucas Walker and new joiners Isabella Caporilli, Arlo Foster and Molly Warnes all gained a significant number of 9s and 8s in their GCSEs.

Let’s give them all a round of applause.

A lot of this achievement comes down to the way in which you learn things. And there is no one way of learning that is better than another. What is important, is that you know what kind of learner you are. Or as Dr Seuss says:

“it is better to know how to learn than to know”.

  • Some of us are visual learners – we like using images, mind maps, drawings, arrows, colour and so on.
  • Some of us are auditory learners, finding podcasts or Ted talks or recording notes and playing them back to ourselves, the best way to learn something.
  • Some of us are physical or kinesthetic learners, needing to “do” things to help the learning process,
  • Some of us are verbal learners, solitary learners or social learners
  • Some of us don’t think we are very good learners at all, whether in the classroom or beyond.

But I think it’s just that you haven’t found the method of learning that best suits your brain.

If I asked you what you learned this summer, I wonder what you would say…

I’ll tell you three things I learned:

  • I learned that being in a plane whilst there is a storm is not a particularly pleasant place to be.
  • I have learned how to build a shelter in a forest, make fire using friction and how to purify water all in one day.
  • I have learned that two weeks without a mobile phone is not only possible but is very good for the soul.

The point is that learning takes many forms, but at its heart it is about pursuing your interest as far as you can take it and doing so in whatever way works for you.

Someone once asked me “What’s the point in learning anything when I’ve got Google?

I said: Good point. Google can tell you everything at a click of a button. But, I asked, is that it? Zero effort on your part results in maximum gain as you have the answers to your prep?

Here’s the thing. I don’t think that’s it. I think there’s more to it: Learning is about more than acquiring knowledge. It is about the journey you take as you learn. For example,

  • Is there anything more satisfying than winning an argument in a debate?
  • or hitting that note you’ve been struggling with for weeks
  • or delivering your lines word perfectly?
  • or kicking a penalty from a really difficult angle in a match
  • or explaining that Maths equation to your friend
  • or completing that book you’ve been reading for months
  • or an essay that you have been working on for days?

All of the above are about LEARNING and none of those moments can be achieved via Google!

The skills or the knowledge you acquire -whether in the classroom or beyond – don’t come without blood, sweat and tears.

Talking of blood sweat and tears, I want to highlight four students who have been involved this weekend with England U18 hockey assessment camps.

That is hockey at its highest and most demanding level so let’s give a round of applause to Georgie Cantrell, Beth Farrow, Ollie Juszt and Sam Wash.

Our weekend of sporting fixtures brought victory for our 1st XI hockey girls who won the Birleys trophy for the fifth consecutive year, with Georgie Cantrell being named player of the tournament.

Our 4ths and our Junior indoor 7s drew their matches against The Perse, but the remaining teams lost their games.

In rugby, congratulations to the U15 As who were resoundingly victorious against Greshams. Although the remaining teams lost, there were some fearsome battles, and hats off to the Albert XV who were at least one man down throughout the match, but who displayed an impressive and dogged determination right up to the final whistle.

Giving your time on a Saturday afternoon to represent your College is a terrific thing to do. It brings with it team spirit, pride in your school and whether you lose or win, you do so graciously. That’s what this is all about, so well done, pick yourselves up and get ready for the next fixture.

Finally, I want to thank Beth Farrow who took the lead in arranging the year 12 fashion show last week  and Gaby Sandoci, Isabelle Tone and Alina Sendrea who  organised the boarders social this weekend. Thank you.

This week, good luck to those auditioning for the play One Man Two Guvnors, Good luck to those of you representing your House in the House quiz and I look forward to hearing the echoes of your rehearsals for the House Singing.

Give everything your best, make the most of every opportunity, don’t waste a single minute.

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