Year 8: The Last Leg
Here begins the last leg of the Bede's Prep journey for our Year 8 pupils, some of whom may have only been with us a term and others who began their days here in nappies at Bede's Nursery.
I would like to say 'hats off to them', although with joys of the summer term, comes the responsibility and awareness for their wellbeing and the Year 8s are embracing the new edict to don a hat during these balmy summer days.
It's joyous to see them flying around on the field enjoying the downtime!
Downtime is a precious commodity, and the value of it must not be underestimated. These children returned from Easter with only 38 days until they commence the final felon; the Common Entrance Exams.
Many have beavered away during the holidays through guided and personal revision and have returned to culminate their studies. Some of our Year 8, as I write, have been sitting external scholarships in Drama, whilst others are approaching the Common Academic Scholarships.
No matter which discipline the children are preparing for, each and every one of them holds its own demands and pressure. The Maths department have laid on extra revision drop-in sessions. Some of these have even taken part on the field; using bearings the children were encouraged and even enjoyed plotting their escape from Bede's.
Such exercises as this encourages the children to enhance, seek clarity and therefore boost self-belief.
Self-belief is so important in Year 8 and a truly hard nut to crack at this age. Interestingly, recent statistics are showing just how challenging it is to be an adolescent in these modern times, with the social, peer, academic and self-pressure constantly knocking on their door; this is particularly prevalent for girls.
There is nothing better when faced with challenge than to have a supportive group of friends and, Year 8 is full of such people. Now that we reach this time in their pinnacle year, the children have become more fluid and therefore more accepting of each other and their individual needs.
These are tools that I believe will serve them well all their life.
Life-skills are a prominent feature this term, varying from being mindful to the forthcoming General Election and the skills required to deal with both!
There are various ways that children facilitate their self-care, with some choosing to attend Miss Corbett's 'Chill and Chat' sessions where all talk openly about where they are at, how they feel and what tools and mechanisms can be employed to make life easier for themselves.
Others choose to talk to their friends and the natural nurturing element that come from their Form Tutors always plays a vital role.
The school will be holding their own 'mini' General Election, which has been organised by Mrs Adams, and only last week we were privileged to have Mr Patrick Walsh, a political expert, to launch our pre-election campaign.
We also welcomed Mr Stephen Lloyd MP, Eastbourne's current Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament, with the Year 8 children representing the array of parties on offer.
They are all busy learning about their proposed manifestos and deliver motivating speeches to their peers. I will keep you posted as to which party wins!
The excitement has already started to build for the forthcoming Leavers' Programme and it won't be long until an entire field at the annual camp becomes an even-newer Common Room than the one we opened in September!
How Year 8 have grown, changed and transformed this year.
This final weeks of their time at Bede's Prep will no doubt be thrilling ones. I cannot wait to see how it all goes!