This week is our final Pastoral Week of the year and we will be focusing on our half termly theme of ‘enthusiasm’ with assembly presentations and other activities. Each Form Teacher will also nominate the most enthusiastic member of their form to receive a special break time treat.

Last week, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to two wonderfully enthusiastic people:

First, on Tuesday, I visited St Mary’s RC Primary School in Chiswick to learn about some initiatives designed to improve the air quality in schools. St Mary’s, located right beside the busy A4,  is the most polluted school in Hounslow and one of their parents, Andrea Carnevali, has worked with enormous passion and energy to create a beautiful living wall of plants, transforming their playground into the ‘Chiswick Oasis’. He gave an excellent (and very entertaining) presentation to us about his fundraising campaign and other initiatives such as car-free Fridays, air purifiers and a special kind of pollution reducing paint.  Our courtyard and playground already have lots of plants and trees in them but I am sure there is scope for more.

Secondly, our Minerva Society speaker on Thursday was Andria Zafirakou MBE, winner of the Global Teacher Award for 2018. She teaches art and textiles at Alperton Community School in Brent and has donated her $1 million prize money to the charity she has created, Artists in Residence, to promote creativity in schools. Andria was amazing – very humble about her achievements, passionate about teaching and the vitally important role of teachers, warm, funny and very engaging – and she inspired us all by showing us the art work of some of the pupils whose lives she had transformed by giving them the belief that they were good at something.  We could have listened to her all day!

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”