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Motivation and Hard Work

02 november 2016

“I think it all comes down to motivation. If you really want to do something, you will work hard for it.” I like this quote by Edmund Hillary.  As I am sure that you are aware, he was a famous New Zealand mountaineer, attributed with being the first to climb the peak of Mount Everest in 1953 and subsequently leading successful expeditions to both the North and South Poles.  

He spent much of his efforts in improving health and education opportunities for the Sherpa people of Nepal.  He attributes his success to hard work and intrinsic motivation.

I see this same attitude in the positive attitude of our students and I am fortunate enough to see this day in, day out at the school.  In recent blogs, both my colleagues and I have made references to the success of our students in many different ways: from their academic achievements with IB and IGCSE examinations, to their sporting success in volleyball, rugby, swimming and netball.  It’s been a pleasure to award students Bronze Certificates at this stage of the term for achieving 25 Merits from their teachers – each one is recognition of the excellent contributions these pupils have made to their own or other’s learning.  Students across the school were recognised for outstanding tracker reports in October and I have also enjoyed presenting commendations recently for contributions to leading assemblies or supporting other members of the community.

The list of success stories is indeed a long one, but this doesn’t happen by accident.  I am often at the school outside normal school hours and regularly arrive early or leave later in the day.  But inevitably, on most occasions, I still see our students here, out on the rugby pitch at 6.30am or training in the swimming pool at 8.00pm.  Parents are there late in the evenings too, encouraging our children as they practise and improve.  The Under 15 FOBISIA team is training very hard at the moment. They will no doubt gain a huge amount, not just from the event itself later this month, but also from the process of preparing together, balancing their commitments together and actually just sitting down and sharing breakfast together.  Thank you to all of the parents who have been supporting and continue to support the students in their endeavours, and to the PE staff who are also dedicated to the team’s success.

I wanted to mention the preparation time, the tiredness, the failures and the challenges.  What we often see as we cheer our children on at sports events, or join in rounds of applause at celebration events, (as well as what we read about in newsletters) is the end result of their efforts.  We don’t always see the hard work of students modestly helping each other in their learning; the commitment to practice when playing an instrument or learning scripts for school productions over and over again; or swimming twenty–five lengths of the pool before most of us have had breakfast!  It is these small efforts, day in and day out, that add up over time and make our students shine.  Our children are fortunate to have the facilities that they do at our school, and staff that promote a growth mindset, but we must remind ourselves of the wonderful commitment that they show which makes us as parents and teachers so proud.

I quoted Edmund Hillary’s motivation to succeed at the beginning of this blog.  I also mentioned his philanthropic approach to improving the lives of others in Nepal.  We have the opportunity to do exactly the same and help others through the charities that our students support, through raising awareness and fundraising.  Coincidentally, today has been National Disaster Day and Nepal Fundraiser, so there is opportunity to further the work that Hillary began as we support projects to rebuild schools in Nepal following the earthquakes last year.  ‘The Giving Tree’ project is also progressing well and I would urge you to buy your bag very soon if you would like the opportunity to put a smile on the faces of the children at Qing Pu Xiu Long Migrant School. Thank you to parents too for your continuing support of these charities.

Andrew Lancaster, Head of Secondary