Last week in my Sixth Form assembly I was encouraging the girls to imagine themselves beyond the school gates, extolling them to think how they can make a difference to the world they will soon be entering. Each girl at BGS has the skill and character to be a positive force in whatever environment she selects.
It is therefore very important to me that we continue to value the girls after they have left school, see the contributions they are making and applaud their efforts.
Just last week we welcomed back a Dame Alice alumna, Anna Edwards, a Sky Sports HQ News producer, who spoke at length to our girls about journalism and the importance of women being represented in the media, especially in sports journalism.
Rebecca Murray, a committed runner at school, has taken it to greater heights and was crowned Junior Women’s Cross English Country Champion just two weekends ago. And we are all inspired by the reports of Sqn Ldr Charlotte Thompson-Edgar, a former Bedford High School pupil, who has been awarded the Associate of the Royal Red Cross medal for her exceptional service and devotion to duty during six tours in Afghanistan. Our girls are incredibly lucky to have such strong role models.
Teachers regularly move from school to school and in moving we often lose touch with the pupils we once taught. I often wonder what has happened to many of the girls I taught. This week I found out about one former student whilst I was on a school inspection. I met an inspiring teacher in her forties. She was certainly making a difference to the pupils she taught. What struck me was her name and it was indeed the same person I taught when she was 14, my very first teaching group, she was in my first every cohort taking GCSE Geography. It was refreshing to meet her and find out the career path she had taken. The school had inspired her to teach and I am in no doubt she is inspiring others to enter this fine profession.
Schools play such an important role in encouraging their pupils to make a difference to the lives of others. I am privileged to be in a position where I can do this and feel richly rewarded when I see alumnae making the most of their school opportunities.