The CHARACTER values that we adhere to at Denefield are, as you know, as important to us as academic qualifications. Our aim is that all of our students leave the school as confident, happy, articulate, resilient, ambitious, courageous, tolerant, empathetic and respectful individuals. Four young people who are excellent role models for our values are our Sixth Form Leadership Team. Their commitment and drive for tolerance and empathy in the short time that they have been in post is commendable. Their collective ambition this year is to reduce the stigma around mental health in school and even though we are already well on the way to addressing this challenge, their input as young people in this community can only enhance our success. With that in mind, I felt it appropriate, following their appointment in October, for them to outline their thoughts in this blog.
‘As we are sure that you are all aware, mental health is something that many people struggle with on a daily basis. Whether people are suffering first-hand or witnessing the struggle of a friend or family member it continues to affect many people. The importance of mental health isn’t something that everyone is aware of but it is something that needs to be supported and as a school we will look to develop how we do that. Some people don’t see mental health outside of severe cases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or depression, but mental health struggles exist on minor as well as major scales. It is very normal for people to struggle with their mental health but it isn’t something that everyone feels comfortable talking about. As the Sixth Form Leadership Team we are looking to change the perceptions of mental health from being a taboo subject to something that people feel comfortable with and comfortable to work on. We ultimately hope to get to a situation where students are able to eradicate any fears about talking about their mental health and the stigma subsides.’ (Josh, Naomi, Harry and Lucy)
I don’t think people understand how stressful it is to explain what’s going on in your head when you don’t understand it yourself
There are just four weeks to go before 'Team Ghana' fly out to undertake charity work with Partner West Africa. Friday 10 November saw the opportunity to continue fund raising for vulnerable children, with a 12 hour sponsored cycle. The 12 hours represented the time it will take students to travel from their homes in Reading to Kokrobite, the tiny Ghanaian fishing village that will be their home for the ten days of their stay and the base from which the Year 12 students will undertake much of their volunteering. All team members bravely signed up to test their endurance and raise extra funds to ensure they could provide children with an unforgettable Christmas. Limbs were sore, faces glowing, but hearts warmed as the team embraced the challenge; the countdown has well and truly begun. Well done to all involved, including Mr Webster, Mrs Shaw, Mrs West and Mrs Davis who all took time out of their busy days to contribute to the collective effort. May I also thank all parents/carers of those involved for their continued support and kindness with this venture, as well as all who donated on the day.
No-one can do everything but everyone can do something
Many of you will have participated in the PTA quiz held on Friday 10 November, which was a great success thanks to the hard work of a few parents who worked tirelessly with Sue and Tom Ellison to organise this event. My thanks to all of you, as without you we wouldn’t have £736 to spend on students at the school.
Finally, thanks to all students and staff who contributed to raising well over £1100 for Children In Need on Friday 17 November. A great team effort!
Dates for your diary:
Exam certificate collection days 29/30 November 2017
GCSE Drama visit to The Woman in Black 28 November 2017
Year 12/13 1:1 Adviza careers advice sessions 28 November 2017
University College Oxford presentation to HAT students 30 November 2017
Year 7 HATS Parents' Evening 6.00pm - 6.30pm 5 December 2017
Year 8 Adviza careers advice sessions 5/6 December 2017
Christmas Fayre 6 December 2017
Oxbridge Outreach event/Varsity Match 7 December 2017
Ghana visit departs 8 December 2017
Mrs L Hillyard