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H.E Week @Hornsey Sixth Form College
This week has been Higher Education week for our wonderful Post 16 students and I have watched with a mixture of pride and trepidation as our students have started taking their first steps into the big wide world of pathways, provisions and careers. It has reminded me of watching a toddler take their first steps; tentative and uncertain at first with lots of changes in direction and a few stumbles along the way, but the students continuously demonstrate the resilience to keep getting back up and I know they will soon be on route to their chosen destinations walking with confidence and pride.
It is unusual for a person to know exactly what they want to do with their life and take a direct and immediate pathway into that chosen career. However, I do feel that as a school and nationally we have got better and better at providing our young people with the opportunities and experiences to allow them to make informed decisions regarding their careers and to really widen participation.
Tom Boon from Raleigh International came to talk to the students this week about volunteering abroad to support international development. His inspirational presentation allowed our students to consider a career in charity work where the goal is to make lasting change and empower developing communities to make sustainable change through the work of young people. As he talked to the students about a project in Malaysian Bournio where young people built an early learning centre from scratch and set it up in a small community providing a safe and educational environment for the children there, I realised that our pupils need to be pushed and challenged to take a break in continuity and do something that takes them out of their comfort zones in order to give them opportunities to find out who they are, what they are good at and ultimately what they want to do with their lives. As he discussed the privilege of building a sanitation unit in small village in Tanzania, teaching an entire community about hygiene and raising awareness of water borne diseases I considered the sheer power to make change that our young people hold in their hands.
I reflect upon this academic year and wonder which of the amazing opportunities offered to our students will be the one that inspired their career the most? Perhaps it will be the mentor they had as part of the Girls Network Project, perhaps it will be Pan London Youth Diversion Day and Public Services Trip, perhaps it will be their Work Experience or maybe just a particularly inspiring and engaging lesson. Time will tell. One thing is for certain though. The more we offer our students, the wider the curriculum, the stronger the enrichment, the more able they will be to find the right pathway for them. We have provided a huge quantity of exceptional experiences for Post 16 students this year and I look forward to exceeding this provision next year.