A positive first half of term!

Some of our Sixth Formers delivering an assembly

As we all become more astute at reading emotions and reactions through the subtle expressions of the eyes, I’m pleased to say that here at Barney, towards the end of our first half term back, the masks are on but the eyes are still smiling!

Our community is truly a blessing. Whether in Student Council hustings or playing cricket during lunch break, the Barney buildings and surrounding playing fields are palpably full of life. As we close on our first half term, the leadership wheels are in motion in our active Sixth Form student body: our Sixth Form Common Room delivered an engaging AGM and after some engaging manifesto speeches, the new committee have been voted in; our supra-curricular life is also fully engaged, with Debating Society, History Society, LawSoc and MedSoc now in full swing, exploring complex ethical cases and showing extraordinary impetus for their passions within and beyond the curriculum.

As our Thought for the Day assemblies, delivered by our Student Leadership team, are now embedded in our weekly routine, it is humbling as to how students wish to focus on altruistic, aspirational and inspirational themes: gratitude, perseverance, curiosity, acceptance. Maturity is something the Sixth Formers seem to demonstrate in abundance and what is more comforting, is the ability to strive for excellence, pandemic or no pandemic. This also comes at a time when our Oxbridge students have submitted their applications, aided by the Oxbridge support programme, a highlight of which has not only been the regular meetings with specialist supervisors, but recently conferring with Old Barnardian Oxbridge graduates (all around the world – thank goodness for video calls!); the world really is still our students’ oyster, even electronically.

With the UCAS term now being firmly upon us, our Year 13s are looking to the future. No matter the destination, it is certain to be an exciting one. Our Lecture Series is allowing Sixth Formers to explore not only the humanities and STEM subjects at university, but our vocational speakers are supporting students to investigate the multitude of careers that exist in our ever-changing, dynamic world. Lecture topics such as Personal Branding, Humanitarian Aid, Gender Equality and Journalism are just to name a few, and it is a delight for so many to be Old Barnardians as well.

As ever, I feel privileged to be part of Barney’s Sixth Form; their energy and enthusiasm is truly humbling, and each day it is a joy to be part of these amazing students’ journeys.