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Students on National Stage

6th December 2016

Two surprised students from Melbourn found themselves on stage in front of hundreds of head teachers from around the country at a national conference.

The pair, Emily West and MaryYates, were among the eight-strong MVC group at the Schools, Students and Teachers Network (SSAT) National Conference at the ICC in Birmingham.

They were selected to go on the stage as part of the opening keynote speech of the two-day conference, entitled Leadership – Making the Impossible Possible, which was made by Dominic Peckham, regarded as one of the UK’s finest young, dynamic conductors and choral specialists.

In a session which went on to discuss challenging yourself and moving outside of your comfort zone, he soon had a conference hall full of head teachers singing in harmony with choreographed moves.

Those invited on to the stage were given three minutes and challenged to come up with a performance involving more than one part of singing and dancing.

Despite their shock, the MVC duo gladly accepted the task – and thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was probably not what anyone had expected when MVC was asked to select a group of students to act as reporters for the event.

Before the conference, the students were asked to write a report outlining their views about leadership, particularly in schools. Eagerly, all students produced interesting ideas and thoughts about what leadership meant to them – thoughts that changed as a result of this inspirational and eye-opening event.

Students were divided up and attended many different sessions to listen to a range of motivational speakers who included Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT, and Baroness Sue Campbell, the head of the Youth Sports Trust.

The feedback from all eight students suggests that they had a wonderful experience and learnt a great deal about what leadership should look like in schools and are eager to help implement these ideas at Melbourn.

The students interviewed a number of people, including Vic Goddard. (He was a speaker later in the afternoon, but is best known for being the Principal at Passmores, when they were the school in Educating Essex).

Needless to say, they were all a little ‘star struck’ during this particular interview and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Melbourn Principal, Simon Holmes, who was at the conference as a delegate, said: “It was a great honour for us to be the school providing the student journalists to this prestigious national event, drawing together leading educationalists from across the country.

“The students represented MVC proudly and extremely well; I look forward to reading their observations and to inviting them to discuss with Senior Staff which ideas they think could be implemented here.”

Head of English Kate King, who accompanied the students, said: “I am extremely proud of our students: despite it being a long day and perhaps at times, a little daunting. Our students showed enthusiasm, confidence and have absolutely made us all at Melbourn Village College very proud indeed.

“The students would like to thank Sue Williamson and all involved at SSAT for giving them the fantastic opportunity to attend such a prestigious event, which has provided them with the inspiration to become great leaders.”

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