Dr E Riley
September 2017 heralds the start of another exciting academic year at Westholme. Year 8 brings with it the familiar reassurance that you are not the youngest pupils in Senior School any more. You know the rules, you know your way around, you know each other and a great many of your teachers and this should allow many of you to quickly dive into the slipstream of school life and get on with enjoying your lessons and learning effectively.
I would particularly encourage you to experience co-curricular activities. You may want to continue with the clubs that you joined in Year 7, but you may want to experience new ones. There is a wealth of opportunities available to you, opportunities you will never have at any other point in your life, so really make the best of them.
Year 8 is also a transitional time: you should be able to draw strength from your successes last year and reflect upon the things you could and would like to do better. Each new year, indeed each new day, is chance to ‘start again’ and make the most of all that our school has to offer. For some, it is also a time of significant change. You will find your fellow pupils developing at different rates both emotionally and physically and this may affect friendships and how people start to see their place in the world. Some alliances may stand the test of time while others may shift, develop and some may end. Draw courage from the knowledge that change is a constant feature of all of our lives and if we acknowledge and embrace this, Year 8 may not seem quite as overwhelming. Try to be resilient – a degree of emotional toughness will stand you in good stead not only now but in later life. As always, a positive ‘can do’ attitude will yield better results in life and at school.
Finally, I would encourage you to think of yourselves as role models. The new Year 7 students will look to you for guidance and as examples of how to approach school. Some of you will be coach buddies for Year 7 students; all of you will have the opportunity to encourage younger pupils to join clubs and teams, to help them to find their way around and to set an example with your smart appearance and positive attitude.
I look forward to getting to know you all this year and having the privilege of sharing your highlights, celebrating your successes and guiding you though the next two years. Make sure you know where my office is and I can be found in there most breaks and lunchtimes should you wish to speak to me.
Good luck and have a wonderful year, Year 8!
As a note to parents if you have any queries or concerns I can be best reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org alternatively contact me via the main switchboard.
Dr E Riley
Head of Year 8
Teacher of History and EPR
Online Safety Coordinator