Students learning about resuscitationI wrote a couple of weeks ago about the way in which the words “able and qualified” are threaded through the school and two events this week have again caused me to reflect upon the importance of our students being “able”.

The first was on Wednesday when all of our Year 7 students experienced training as part of “Restart a Heart Day”. Faced with a dummy model, they were trained in basic resuscitation techniques and talked through the actions they should take if they were ever to encounter someone in this type of situation. This may seem quite a daunting thing for Year 7 students to consider but the way in which they approached the session was hugely impressive: mature, focused and ready to learn.

Yesterday I went with our Sixth Form Officers to a meeting of the Wallingford Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group in order to provide some feedback to them from our students about the Wallingford Neighbourhood Plan which is currently open for consultation. As ever, our students were great and their reflections were both sharp and reflective. They said that they value the green spaces in the town, appreciate the facilities available to them, notably for sport in particular, and are concerned about traffic in and around the town both in terms of congestion and its environmental impact. The last point was unsurprising in the light of the strong feelings amongst the student body about the effects of climate change and this led on to a very interesting discussion about carbon-neutral housing and why there does not seem to be more of it in new developments. What was great was not just the content of the discussion but also that the young people of our school were interacting with volunteers who give their time to benefit the local community in such a constructive and informed way.

Both of these events – just two examples of a huge range of things which are happening in school and there is so much more which I could write about - made me think about the young people we work with. Firstly, how impressive they are whether they are 11 or 18 but also their desire to be responsible citizens and part of society; if we can encourage, support and nurture this in our school then we are getting things right.