After notices, Mr Grocott awarded some prizes, Haribo sweets (the man knows what teenagers want), for outstanding effort in Geography. Then Miss Sharrock spoke.
I have led many assemblies over the years, and I have delivered similar speeches but never with the passion and empathy of this speech. Although she was extremely emotional, requiring a quick tissue run form one of the other staff, Miss Sharrock spoke eloquently about the ups and downs of her time as Head of Year over the last four years. We had laughter and tears from the students followed by a richly deserved standing ovation for a lady who has been a coach, teacher, mentor and sometimes a mother to all of the students in the room.
We finished the assembly with a beautiful performance by Pheobe Li and Bhavya Ahuja singing “It’s time” by Imagine Dragons, an appropriate song with an appropriate message for the year. In many ways the chorus of the song perfectly frames how many of our students feel as they approach their exams;
It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger but then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am
A theme that runs through all we do with our students at BISS Puxi is getting them to be the best they can be, understanding if they try hard and they will get what they deserve. The BISS Puxi approach is not forcing change on students by changing their personalities or core values, our approach is to encourage reflection and thought from our students to try to ensure the opportunities they have access to once they leave us are greater than they would have been anywhere else.
Over the coming weeks our Year 11 students will go through some ups and downs, they will need support of their friends and their families. However, the biggest support they will have is the knowledge that they can speak to Miss Sharrock, or any of the other teachers at the school for advice and support. Being a teacher is not always easy, you invest a lot of emotional and physical energy into supporting those you teach, but if anyone wants to know why we do it then they only need to see the reaction of the students to Miss Sharrock’s assembly, the affection and respect they have for her was so clear from their reactions and their faces.
As a member of the Pastoral team at BISS Puxi I know how much effort all of the staff put into fostering an environment where our students are comfortable and feel respected, it is just one of the reasons they do so well academically. I was very proud to share the moment with the Year 11 students, the Pastoral team and witness their reaction to the assembly, my only regret is that I did not record the event to show people exactly how much the staff at BISS Puxi care about their students.
Paul Kelly, Deputy Head of Secondary (Pastoral)