Associate Headteacher's welcome
I would like to wish you a very warm welcome to Arden. We are an exciting and ambitious school that strives daily to ensure opportunities for all of our students and staff. We pride ourselves on our "Arden Family", a supportive and caring culture that ensures an environment exists where students can be pushed and challenged to achieve their potential and where our highly skilled staff can deliver the highest levels of inspiring and engaging learning.
Through our broad curriculum and our extensive array of co-curricular opportunities we provide opportunity for all students to find their passion and to achieve their potential in their chosen pathways. The Co-curricular opportunities on offer add depth and variety to our students learning, ensuring that school fulfils a far greater role than just the delivery of a curriculum.
Arden is an ambitious and aspirational school. Our students value education and recognise the crucial role it plays in ensuring that they are prepared to enter the worlds of further education and work as skilled and resilient members of the community. We are very proud of the exam results that our students achieve (link) and the fact that they leave us well equipped for the next stages in their lives at the age of 16 or, for a majority, 18.
The achievements that our students accomplish and the wonderful young adults that they develop into are shaped through a culture of expectation. We have exceptionally high expectations. Students of all ages are expected to display the very strongest attitudes towards learning,to take pride in their work and to challenge themselves in each and every lesson. The pride that students have in their school is demonstrated through the very high standard of uniform. Smart appearance, a strong work ethic and exemplary behaviour creates the climate where all students flourish.
Our Arden Values of Determination, Excellence, Courage, Friendship, Inspiration, Equality and Respect run through all that we do and provide the framework in which our students are able to grow and develop into well rounded young adults.
We have a highly skilled, committed and professional team of staff who work tirelessly to provide outstanding learning in a climate of care and support. The level of staff care and attentions is, in my view, unparalleled. The relationships that exist between staff and students are simply fantastic, underpinned by a clear vision that we are all striving to achieve the same thing, the very best we can for each and every one of our students.
At its heart, Arden is a community school. We are justifiably proud of the number of students who want to represent their peers, their school and their community; many are motivated by a desire to "give something back". Student bodies, such as our student council, are key component of life at Arden and are actively involved in ongoing school development.
I would like to thank all students, staff and parents for each of their contributions that make Arden such a special and unique school.
Mr. Dave Warwood
Year 12 Dedication Service Speech at Knowle Parish Church 5th September 2018
Good Afternoon Year 12, if you are sitting in this church right now I think it’s pretty safe to say that you did well in your GCSE’s. To show such resilience and perseverance in a time full of uncertainty and pressure and to still come out on top is commendable and you should be very proud of yourselves.
One year ago today I walked into this church and sat down, exactly where you are right now, and I was absolutely terrified. I sat there listening to every word of every speech, the words ‘success’ and ’achieve‘ spinning around my head, thinking how could I ever attain my target grades, how could I still be the student who consistently performed, was it time to say goodbye to Alisha as I knew her and make room for non-stop working and no social life? Now I have to admit, all of these thoughts were there way before I walked into the church, and I think the sixth form memes are partly to blame for that, but nevertheless I was so overwhelmed by anxiety and panic over what I thought sixth formwas going to be like, I had to walk out.
Now one year on I stand before you, in the same church I walked out of a year ago today, to tell you everything is going to be ok, everything is ok. Everysingle one of the year 13’s next to you entered the sixth form with a different perception of what it was going to be like, and so will every one of you. If you’re excited and ready for the new journey ahead of you, that’s great! If you are slightly hesitant and need a bit of time to make the transition, that is just as valid, the chances are you are not alone.
There will be a number of highs and a number of periods where you will need to push yourself along the way, but the rewards at the end are so worth it. At the end of the day, you get out what you put in, and there are so many resources and lines of support available to you, in the privileged position you are in, to get the best outcome possible. As Malala Yousafzai said, ‘let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.’ Don’t forget that you are allowed to have a life too, nothing is going to fall apart if you take one day off.
It is at this new beginning and at the start of this new journey that I feel it’s so important to emphasise the value of kindness and friendship. You do not know the battles those around you are facing on a daily basis- kindness is free and vital as everyone faces new challenges and we all move at our different paces. Now is the time to put the pettiness and negativity of the past behind you; forget about the arguments over prom cars and dates in Year 10 and step above the need to be seen a certain way or do what others do.
You do not need to be better than anyone, just better than the person you were yesterday. If you’re not doing well or you are struggling, whether that is with your work or emotionally, please speak out- its ok to not be ok. Look out for each other and be kind to one another, but most importantly be kind to yourself.
The next two years will be full of memories, laughter, some tears and some challenges; and if you jump in now with the mindset that ‘everything is going to be ok’ like I should have a year ago the positivity you attract will shine through your work and everything you do here at Arden Sixth Form.
Alisha Sharma (Year 12)
5th September 2018