The mystique of being talented
It has been an amazing week of talent; a real reminder of the payoffs and rewards on offer when you commit yourself and work really hard. It is also an example of what young people can really achieve when they throw themselves fully into something.
On Thursday I had the privilege of accompanying our C9 and C10 Brilliant Club learners to their graduation at Pembroke College, Cambridge. The location was great. It was everything you would expect from a Cambridge college: Harry Potteresque dining hall, ancient buildings and traditions that date back centuries. However, within all of that it still felt like a progressive and modern place to learn and study. The day culminated in them receiving their graduation certificates. Four of them received a 1st – a fantastic achievement. The graduation day was a recognition of the additional work these learners have completed over the last few months. This work has been on top of their regular studies and commitments and required discipline and dedication to complete. Part of the day involved them reflecting on the process and how they might approach it differently if they had to do it again. Both myself and Miss Harrington were very proud to hear the contributions from our learners; they had clearly learnt a lot from the process.
The next celebratory event I attended was yesterday’s final performance of We Will Rock You. Something that I can only describe as imaginative and bonkers. The performance was fantastic and didn’t disappoint. But I knew that coming in because our learners always deliver on creativity. What was not seen on the night, a bit like the Brilliant Club, was the hard work that led up to the performance. I know that many learners have been giving up their evenings and weekends to prepare. Staff have been doing the same. I am sure that some families have had to support hours of rehearsals. It is again another example of dedication, discipline, commitment and sheer hard work above and beyond the school day.
The final thing I would like to mention was an email I received from one of our C9 learners, Matthew Collier, who knows I am a fan of video games. He shared with me the news that he had been working on a video game project out of school and that his game had been featured in the Google Play store. An amazing accomplishment that he achieved simply through giving up his time to commit to additional learning. Well done Matthew.
This type of work ethic is what breeds success. It is easy for us to focus on talent and think that we can’t measure up. If we just look at the end product we miss out all of the hard work that goes into creating that. If we think that it is only about talent we will never achieve. There is a much quoted phrase that ‘genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration’. Perspiration comes as a result of hard work, of not giving up. The talent then follows.
There are loads of top ten lists about things that don’t require talent. Meeting these will help us to attain success. Here are ten things that every learner can do:
1. Be On Time – This shows respect, maturity and responsibility.
2. Work Ethic – Do they spend every day focusing on the right things?
3. Effort – Talking is easy. Doing the work is where accomplishment takes place.
4. Energy – This is the most valuable thing anyone can bring to learning
5. Body Language – Do learners look like they are ready to learn and engage?
6. Passion – Are they proud of what they are doing?
7. Doing Extra – Putting more than the minimum in – going the extra mile.
8. Being Prepared – Being organised and arriving ready to learn
9. Being Coachable – Prepared to listen and learn from feedback.
10. Attitude – It’s up to them. It is their life. The attitude will determine the altitude they fly at.
I wish you all a great weekend

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