Message from Head Boy

During my 6 years so far at St James', I have never failed to feel like I've been a part of a community, with bonds between all teachers and students which grow stronger with every passing year. This, I feel, is a testament to all of the teachers here at our school who have, and always will, go above and beyond in their efforts to make an ideal learning environment for us to succeed in. I have been fortunate enough to see myself and my friends around me grow and flourish during our time here; growing in confidence and competence in our tasks which is due to the high standard held by the staff around us. I truly feel honoured to be given this chance to represent the students in this school and I hope to be able to begin to repay the school for everything it has done for all of us.

I feel that our Sixth Form is a warm supportive environment where all students are given all the encouragement necessary for them to fulfil their academic potential. Help is always provided for students, whether that be in the form of extracurricular activities and teachers giving up their own time to answer students' questions or school trips and national subject competitions. Also, for Sixth Form students, there are opportunities to visit different universities, take part in some volunteering activities and mentoring programmes, all of which help students in their futures, whether they choose to go to university, an apprenticeship or straight into the world of work.

Although Year 11 students are  repeatedly told how tough the transition from Year 11 to Year 12 is, very few (myself included) truly realise how tough it is, causing a challenging and stressful first few weeks. The teaching differs (you now become more independent in your learning), there's new course material and a huge increase in workload which does take time to adapt to. However, I know from first hand experience that with a good attitude and work ethic, all students will be able to overcome this barrier with the aid of the teachers and Year 13 students around them who will always provide the encouragement and support each and every student requires. As I mentioned earlier, there is a strong emphasis on a more independent style of learning as we are young adults now in the final stages of our school education. This prepares us for whatever we choose to do in the future; should we choose to go to university then we will have to do the majority of our studying independently and if we choose to go into an apprenticeship or straight into work then we would have to learn on the job skills independently too. Although a lot of the learning is done alone, teachers will ease us into the process as it's new to us and, with their help, we are fully prepared for our future.

Looking back during my years here at St James' I can fully appreciate everything the school has given me, from countless opportunities to support and encouragement every day. I can safely say I feel I chose the best possible choice for me when picking St James' as a Sixth Form as I have faced and successfully overcome many challenges this past year, something that I would've found a near impossible task had I not had the support from the truly magnificent staff here at this school. Thanks to all this help and guidance I feel fully prepared for this forthcoming year and I relish the chance of facing and overcoming any future challenges that come my way.

Ben Gussetti - Head Boy