COLUMN: Young people need a chance to discover

Head of Anthony Gell School Wirksworth Malcolm Kelly
Head of Anthony Gell School Wirksworth Malcolm Kelly

Being the head teacher of a secondary school is for the most part an incredibly rewarding role, however as you might expect, it sometimes presents challenges and frustrations.

I am reminded, on a daily basis, of just how lucky we are to work with a group of very talented young people possessing a thirst for knowledge and great potential.

None of us can say with any certainty what the world of work will be like by the time those now of secondary school age approach their retirements, but it will most likely be very different to that which we live in today.

Our job as educators is therefore to provide as wide a range of opportunities as we can in order to give the students in our care the chance to discover, explore and learn.

Hopefully this will help them to develop understanding, skills and a passion for learning; building their confidence and challenging them to aspire and achieve both personally and professionally.

This week I was lucky enough to meet three young students who have, along with their peers, been attending a lunchtime/after school science club.

Their eyes sparkled as they told me of their investigations – some choosing to explore the mysterious world of bacteria whilst another explored the properties of the fibres used in climbing ropes.

Their proud science teacher encouraged them to tell me more.

The conversation developed to include how swabs might be taken from computer keyboards, growing bacteria in petri dishes, testing the safety of cleaning products under laboratory conditions and analysing how weather conditions can impact on safety.

I saw once again how a skilled teacher can create the right conditions for learning, plant a seed in a child’s mind and then watch it grow and develop into something really special.

We can talk about the challenges another day!

For more information on Anthony Gell School, visit the website