Taking pride in our achievements

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This week I have had the pleasure of interviewing all the prospective pupils, including our current Year 6, who will be joining us in the Senior School.

I ask them to bring to the interview something of which they are proud and invite them to talk about the object and why it makes them proud. This year the objects were varied and fascinating. There were medals for swimming, horse riding, sailing and cross country, there were badges of achievement for being house captain, service captain or form prefect, there were beautifully drawn paintings, carefully constructed stories and poems, certificates of achievement for musical instruments and speech and drama examinations.

It was an impressive array of achievements; from the grit and determination to complete 100 metres in the swimming pool to the heights of being selected to represent Great Britain in their sport. Each achievement meant much to the girls and reflected parts of their personality that enabled them to obtain this success.

Touching were the pictures of families; cousins who were role models, fathers who took their daughters fishing, grandparents who ran with them in sponsored 5km runs, and family adventure holidays to all parts of the world, including a year out driving across Europe, through Mongolia and ending up in Laos and Indonesia.

Being proud of your achievements is important. It reflects the hard work, persistence and determination to do well. Having role models to aspire to can help shape your character and lead you in the right direction.

Pride is not vanity. As Jane Austen says “A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us”. The girls I talked to were not vain, they were rightfully proud. Our new intake of pupils is an impressive group of young women and I am proud that they have chosen to share their journey with us.

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