The Headteacher column with Woldgate School’s Jonathan Britton

Headteacher Jonathan Britton.
Headteacher Jonathan Britton.

We recently received a letter from Philip Neville, the England Senior Women Head Coach.

It is kind when very busy individuals take the time to write to encourage our pupils, and to recognise the hard work and commitment of colleagues and parents in making this community great.

'The harder you work the luckier you get' ' Brownlee brothers.

'The harder you work the luckier you get' ' Brownlee brothers.

I have now received letters from a range of diverse and interesting correspondents.

For example, in addition to a lovely letter from Stephen Fry, we have heard from Ian Hislop, Leeds United, and Alan Sugar. We also received letters from public bodies and personalities: Kensington Palace sent a letter, as did both the office of the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition.

From the world of sport, we also received a fabulous poster from the Olympic champions the Brownlee brothers.

“The harder you work the luckier you get” – Brownlee brothers.

I have to admit to loving the Brownlee brother’s quote.

I think the banners provided around school recognise that fundamentally, success is not solely born of natural talent but is due to hard work.

In much the same way, I loved the response of a ballet dancer who was being interviewed on television last week, when the interviewer said “you are so gifted”.

The ballet star took immediate offence replying “gifted I may be, but my success is due to hard work, long hours and a determination to succeed”.

The offense was clearly caused by an interviewer who seemed to purely attribute such gymnastic skill and the achievements of the individual, to nothing more than an ability they had at birth.

As we all know, our attributes at birth are seldom enough without hard work and commitment to result in success.

“I wanted to write to you all at Woldgate School to encourage you to continue working hard to achieve your dreams in life” – Philip Neville. The messages, like Philip Neville’s emphasise the opportunities that education can bring: how it can transform lives, help us for fill our potential and achieve our dreams.

You would be surprised how many anecdotes I hear every week as our former pupils leave university and apply for positions.

For instance, a former pupil who recently in an interview to become an officer within the army, left other candidates behind and impressed the panel to such an extent that they let him choose his specialism.

His community work, the visits, expedition and academic progress had helped broaden his experience and establish his credentials.

We may be a small community school in a market town – within the East Riding and near York – but I feel our pupils, my colleagues and parents should be so very proud of all they have achieved and the support they have provided to this community and school.