An open letter to 11EX2. On results’ day 2014

Dear all,

Well, that’s that! The results are in and although I have left for pastures new, I wanted to share my thoughts with you on this momentous day.

I am incredibly proud of all of you! You should be positively glowing today as you reap the rewards of two years of (hard) work, tears and cheers. Your results: 8A*, 19A, 4B and 1 C are amongst the best I have ever seen. Especially from a set 2. 84% A*-A with a department measure of 68%. You performed well above the norm.

Enough of statistics (and TRAPPERS) though. We all remember my mantra that “monkeys can do maths” and that statistics are the most easily manipulated type of information on any page.

I’d like to focus on you and what I remember from our two years of IGCSE preparation. I treasure much of the work you created, especially the Little Miss books:

Little Missmiti

Little Miss Cowrafe

little miss photos

And the range of window art:

cocoa window
refugee window, complete

And Jodh’s composition and analysis of Refugee Blues:

photo response refugee

But beyond these tangible memorials, I recall a class which was too big and prone to divide itself into small groups and which was frighteningly silent. In Year 10. By Year 11, you had all developed such confidence in delivery and thought that the tables could fizz with discussion, even with Imran snoring gently to one side. Some of you worried about studying Shakespeare – it was too hard, you thought, yet the 12 A*-A grades would suggest otherwise. As you develop, remember that only focusing on work which you find “easy” will in no way develop you as thinkers. Challenge is at the heart of development and the better students learn that risk taking and challenge are two of the most vital steps towards achieving in life. Please hold onto this thought as you move into the VIth form – things get harder there and you need to be brave.

Finally, although I maintain that teaching you has made me a better teacher in many ways, don’t let anyone kid you: you sat the exams. You alone and the sense of pride is yours and is fully justified. Step forward: Hyder, Supreet, Abdul, Vishal, Karthiga, Nigara, Vanraj & Bhavneet and take the plaudits of the class for your A*s. Some of you may have been surprised and some relieved. Certainly there are a couple of names I didn’t expect to see in that list and I am really excited at the prospect of you developing these results in the lower VIth.

To all of you, then, Miti and Arti, (joined at the hip), Shambling Imran, Zakie – working so hard, Nakkers and Nikkers, Sujjj and Karthi, Ro-Ro, Varshikles, Super and Bhav (who maintained A* quality throughout the year) and to all the others, all 32 of you, Cheerio!

Take care and build on this foundation. You made an old man very happy today.

Best wishes for the future,

Jonathan Peel