From the Head…Prize Giving

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Burton Hathow family… Another year! Another prize giving. Where did that go? 

Today I would like to use this time that we have together, to convey some important messages not just for our children but I hope for our entire BH family. 

My talk today is in three parts, but don’t worry, I am not going to speak for too long. I say 3 parts so you can tick them off and hopefully this will keep you engaged.

As you know we talk a lot at Burton Hathow about positive energy and the power of positive thoughts. It is important to us at BH that we give our children a giant spring board to prepare them for the future, we are a true Preparatory School and when I say their future I do not just mean that next step in their educational life – we may have 100% success rate at 11 plus, scholarships and first school of choice - but it is more than that. 

As I have said before, we live in an age that is moving so fast we cannot possibly prepare each child for the world of work that they will graduate into, many of the future jobs have not yet been created. What we can and do create are rounded and grounded individuals who are creative individuals who can work either on their own or collaboratively within teams to be utterly amazing, our strong arts and sports programmes help us to facilitate this. 

We all have that potential in us to be utterly amazing. I truly believe that, and we instil this in our pupils at BH. This has to start with a positive attitude. And I know that I am possibly one of the most annoyingly positive individuals that you know. But what I am is a great believer that we have the opportunity to make things happen – we just have to believe in ourselves. This starts each day with thinking about how amazing our lives are. Taking that moment to actually think and give thanks for our family, our friends, the fun we have, our health, our homes, the food on the table, our work, our jobs, our school, our opportunities… The list could go on and on and on. 

We all get so caught up in the whirlwind of everyday that we take our lives and what we have for granted. This year I have been working with our staff and with our pupils to reflect on this, to think about all the positives in our lives and quite frankly, compared to others around the world, how very lucky we are. So, family and friends of Burton Hathow, I have a job for you. Don’t worry, not now, you can do this in your own time…

At the end of this service I have a gift for each of you. Your very own Burton Hathow pen, which I would like you to use to write your own list. A list of all the things in your life that you have to be grateful for. You can do this as a family if you would like especially if you have younger children. If you can start each day repeating your list out loud, imagine how your day is going to unfold. And doing this day after day has a truly remarkable impact. Starting your day this way will give you such a positive energy that great things will happen… giving the gift of positive energy to our children’s lives is priceless… So there is your challenge and that is the end of part 1.

The second thing I would like to share with you is the message that I have given to our Y6 pupils that I gave at the leaver’s dinner last night, as I thought this message is actually important to every one and also good to reiterate to our leavers. Each year we produce a leavers book filled with all the pictures form your children’s time at BH. It is a very special gift and you can take a closer look whilst you enjoy your picnics, I will pass it around the garden.

So this is my message to you, year 6:

Year 6! Your time to fly the nest has arrived. I bet that you can’t believe how quickly your time at Burton Hathow has come to an end? You may all be feeling a little apprehensive about your next step, but you needn’t be…you are ready! 

And, luckily, for each and every one of you, you have a bit of Burton Hathow magic safely secured inside of you!

This is the BH magic that is your inner voice. It will never ever leave you. The little gems of wisdom that you have learnt along the way! The fact that you all know how you are destined for greatness, that self-belief that you can do it, if you believe you can! If you say you can you will, if you say you can’t you won’t!  Practice makes permanent! Never give up! If you haven’t failed you haven’t lived. The inner voice you have will be the echo of all the Burton Hathow staff, their voices, encouraging you to keep going on your adventure. To live your life! To take every opportunity that comes your way! To be the best version of yourselves!

We never lie to you. Life is tough and you will have tough times. It is in those moments of despair and uncertainty that you will grow, they enable you to become even better people. The highs match the lows and show that you are alive! Take those opportunities, greet the world with smiles, be the inspiration to your friends and the people you meet. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Know your weaknesses and do not shy away from them but tackle them head on. Take that BH magic and spread it around the word. Now go on – make us proud!

And now for my final part I would like to share a poem dedicated to our leavers:


Oh, the places we’ll go 

a poem by Dr Seuss 

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go. 

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there." 

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street. 

And you may not find any you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town 

It's opener there in the wide open air. 

Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you. 

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. 

Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left. 

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.) 

be your name Flynn, Remi, Jack, David, Adam, Kitty or George

Your off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way! 

Thank you!