As we begin another school year and thousands of children across Bristol return to the classroom, I thought I would share my thoughts on how to make the most of your education.
There is an ancient proverb – ‘If you wish to travel far, travel together’ – and this is excellent advice for those who wish to travel far in their education. By working together we can achieve far more than we can alone.
Your school is a community and embracing that community is the key to making the most of your time there. It isn’t only your teachers who will move your learning forward: your classmates can also stretch you further. In my years of teaching I always found this to be true: when my students worked together – sharing and discussing thoughts and ideas, explaining things to each other – they all did better.
But it isn’t only in the classroom that education takes place. As well as learning about academic subjects at school, you are also learning about yourself. You can discover what your strengths are, what you enjoy and what you want to be.
To find these things out you need to get involved with the different communities within your school. It may be drama, or music, or a physics club or a sports team – it doesn’t matter what you do but by belonging to a group and making a contribution to a team effort you will blossom and grow. The sense of fulfilment gained from working with others to achieve a common aim, and the inspiration you can draw from like-minded people around you, will help you enjoy your education more and go further in it.
I was reminded of this at the start of term as I listened to our Sixth-formers speaking in assembly. The message at the heart of their engaging and entertaining presentation was that to make the most of your time at school you have to get out of your comfort zone, try things out and get involved. And if I was to give one piece of advice as to how to make the most of your education it would be that: get involved, join in, work with others, find your place in the community and find out who you are.
Headmaster, Bristol Grammar School