Hello, my name is Emily. I've been a student of Kendrick School since Year 7 and now in Year 12 I have received the honour and privilege of being elected Head Girl by staff and students.
Part of this honour involves writing a letter for the school website, and as I sit here musing this proposition my thoughts roam to someone who was rather good at writing- Oscar Wilde, who, to make some kind of tenuous link, once did grace Reading with his presence (alright, we put him in our prison). Upon further reading, I came across and was struck by a comment he once made:
'Most people are other people'.
Although Mr Wilde, fan as he was of tasteful wallpaper and flamboyant clothing, meant this undoubtedly in a negative light, I think this comment unintentionally says a lot about human nature; particularly the way our communities shape us as people and form our identities.
It is in this vein, the formation of identity, that I begin to think about Kendrick. Firstly, of course, in an academic sense. In my 6 years I have experienced first-hand the great work ethic Kendrick gives its students, the expertise passed on by its enthusiastic teachers as well as the comprehensive pastoral support offered that helps all students to achieve their full academic potential. Although Kendrick is full to bursting with talented and clever girls, what is made very clear is that success is not handed to you on a plate, and there is a lot of pride taken in the results we work hard together for. As a Kendrick girl, you learn the value of hard work and effort as well as achievement.
But it's important to remember that Kendrick is not just about academia. What Kendrick has taught me is that the true value of hard work is not just in achieving the best exam results you can (as important as they are, I hasten to add), but in becoming a truly engaged and committed member of society. This is where I believe the true value of the Kendrick community lies.
Trying to explain the power of Kendrick's community to someone who is not a part of it is a difficult feat. Coming to Kendrick I never expected I would have anticipated the extent to which the school, its students and staff, would become my second family. Our House system is an integral part of school life, and regular competitions, from music to netball to scrabble to university challenge create a sense of teamwork and cohesion. The school council enables students to truly gain ownership of the running of their school. There exists a vast, vast range of extra-curricular activities, from Lacrosse to Classics Club to Amnesty International Group and everything in between, the running of which is often undertaken by older students. The pinnacle of this involvement in school life is the Head Girl Team, made up of nine 6th form students who in their different roles have the chance to, not only, represent their peers but take an active role in helping run and change the school for the better.
Thus the strong leadership and encouragement I've experienced in my Kendrick life has made me eager to take control of my future and make a positive difference to the world I live in, as a young woman and as a citizen of the world. As Ms Kattirtzi, our Headteacher, says, at Kendrick we aim to 'lead, inspire and make a difference'!
So, to bring the discussion ever so briefly back to literary figures, although Shakespeare once said
'we know who we are, but not who we may be'
I think Kendrick has given me a pretty good idea.