University style forums…that open doors

Mrs Brown, our Thinking Skills Coordinator, brought together a first for our pupils in organising a University style lecture and Q&A season with leading lights in the world of managing risk.  I can honestly say that I was truly taken aback as 180 pupils listened to five very different stories of ‘risk’, before coming back with some incredibly thoughtful and insightful questions for the panel.

  • Taking on the personal challenge of learning a high risk sport from scratch that involved falls.
  • Choosing an unrealistic aim and discovering an angel in the process.
  • Setting up a business from scratch but maintaining a ‘risk register’ against all angles that is still the cornerstone of this company.
  • Risking it all with parental perception and being rewarded in human faith.
  • Literally travelling out of your comfort zone and repeating this on the day.

These are all rather cryptic descriptions of extraordinary stories that had so much to lose but equally to gain.  I want to thank our expert panel, Mrs Rajkumar, Mrs Clarkson, Mrs Bains Jackson, Mr Shah and Mr Cato for offering such personal accounts of moments that define risk taking.  The value of sharing your accounts will undoubtedly last long in the memories of our pupils and will certainly stay with all of us helping inform our decision making in the future.  I would like to thank Mrs Brown for organising this fantastic event…more will follow.  And finally, I would like to thank Arav Patel who stood up and closed the seminar with a vote of thanks to our guests!

However, beyond what I took personally, was the pride in watching your children absorbing what was being said and the level of questioning that they responded with in the follow up.  If I am honest, I was not expecting the depth, curiosity and mature analysis that they showed, this could have been an A-Level or even University level event.  It just goes to show, if you offer the opportunity, the youth of today will surprise you!

Tim Calvey