When choosing an education for their daughter, many parents naturally seek out a school based purely on the success of its exam results. This is understandable of course, and fortunately our results are always way above the national average. BUT, I passionately believe that education and the whole school experience is about so much more than just that.
It’s about all round development; it’s about exploring, taking risks, having fun, trying out new things, discovering who you are and where you want to go, what you want to do. It’s basically a journey of discovery during which any girl, introvert or extrovert, should emerge as a confident young woman with a clear vision of how she wants to shape her own future. My recent trip to the United Nations with two of our Year 13 girls is the perfect example of just such a journey.
The National Council of Young Women (NCYW) evolved right here at NGHS from parent group, the National Council of Women, who have been holding regular meetings here over the years. Jenny Raw, our current Head Girl, and Rachel Wibberley, fellow Head Girl Team member, have always been actively involved in the NCYW while in the Sixth Form. Despite being busy with their school work, including studying for their exams, the girls seized upon an amazing opportunity that could well have changed their lives. Being hand-picked to represent the National Council of Women Great Britain (NCWGB) at the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women 61 (CSW61) was a huge and exciting privilege, and one the girls could not turn down.
During the week-long event at the United Nations in New York, Jenny and Rachel got to meet and spend time with influential, political women from all over the world, networking and discussing global women’s issues. They also delivered speeches themselves on women’s economic empowerment, and empowering women in the workplace, as well as attending the meeting of the UK mission to the UN and the Youth Forum which took place on Day One, and for which the girls helped put together the Youth Statement which was read out at the start.
I have never felt more proud – they are extraordinary girls who have taken the best of all that NGHS and the GDST has to offer, and look where they are now – in demand by local and national media! The girls have been interviewed by the Huffington Post and by the Metro, where they made a huge impression on their interviewer who told us:
Rachel and Jenny were outstanding, a real credit to all of you and to their families. In 25 years in this job, I have to say this was one of the most accomplished, passionate, considered and interesting interviews I have seen. I am going to be using the interview for our CEO media training – I’m not kidding!
I can’t tell you how much this means to me, and to the school; it’s what we’re all about, a real success story. Just listen to how confident and mature these amazing girls were in their interview:
I do know however, that I could choose ANY of my girls here at NGHS and they too would step up to the mark and impress in any field, because they are confident, courageous, capable and self-assured young women who, in the right environment, can do what they love, and love what they do.
My advice to all of my girls would be to take advantage of all the many and varied opportunities that are on offer at the school, and from the GDST. These experiences could be the making of you, giving you the opportunity to excel in your field and show the world what you’re made of. Jenny and Rachel have done just that. They saw an opportunity and grabbed it with both hands and it has been wonderful to watch them grow in confidence and share their views about such important things at such an influential level. These opportunities are here for the taking and are what will set our girls apart from the crowd and help shape their futures, and I for one look forward to seeing more of our girls follow in Jenny and Rachel’s footsteps.
On that note, let me wish you all a very restful Easter break, ready for more amazing things to come from our extraordinary girls.