Even though it was a very wet and windy day in late November the weather would not dampen our spirits as Jake, his parents, Miss Popa and I were on our way to The Lowry at Manchester to see Jake receive his Princess Diana Award.
The guest speaker for the occasion was Afshan Azad who played one of the Patel twins in 5 of the Harry Potter movies. She gave an extremely personal account of the 10 auditions she had to pass to make it into the first movie and how persistence to follow her dreams has shaped her life and brought her great success.
Jake is currently in year 13 and over the last few years he has been involved in many projects promoting social issues within school. The projects include an anti-bullying campaign, anti-drugs and awareness group along with a raising self-esteem and confidence building sessions. Many of the younger students have benefitted from his support and guidance to enable them to improve their own confidence and self-esteem. Jake is truly inspirational and an absolute credit to himself, his family and Settle College.
In year 9 Jake was involved in an anti-bullying campaign called ‘Tell Someone’ where he took a lead role in a short but thought provoking anti bullying play. Jake developed the script and took part in recording and editing the work then produced a final DVD. This was then shown to year 7 students to make them aware of whom you can talk to if you are having issues with bullying in Secondary school. Jake also worked with his peers to take part in a question and answer session where the year 7’s covered a wide variety of issues. This was part of a transition programme to ensure the new students felt safe in school and know which members of the pastoral team could assist.
In year 10 Jake was involved in the anti-drugs awareness group which investigated the ‘new’ drugs on the market and the devastating effects it can have on young people’s lives. He was part of the working group who presented this information to the year 8 pupil’s and contributed to the group work and poster displays describing the dangers and help that is available.
In year 11 Jake was involved in a ‘Raising self- esteem’ session where a sports personality came into school to give a presentation on how you can be successful in your chosen field. This was delivered to a small group of pupils to improve their own confidence and raise their self-esteem. This was very successful and received a lot of positive feedback from the students.
In year 12 and 13 Jake has been an active member of the drama club where he often takes a lead role and supports younger students to be part of the cast. Jake is also assisting with developing drama productions in the community and he encourages pupils to be involved to improve their own confidence and self-esteem.
Throughout his schooling Jake has taken an active part in student voice activities which means he has given his thoughts and points of view on a range of various issues, he has also been a key student assisting other students to contribute their points of view.
I think Jake is a great ambassador for Settle College. He has a fantastic determination to succeed, is very committed to his studies, has a very caring nature and makes a valued contribution to the wider activities in school. For one so young his positive outlook and approach to life is admirable.
I was extremely surprised when I was told I had been nominated and selected to receive a Princess Diana Award for my contribution to the wider school life. I have enjoyed working on all of these projects over the years especially knowing that I have assisted the younger students to build up their confidence and self-esteem. I am really pleased that I have taken part in these projects which have helped me to develop my own skills while at the same time offering guidance and assistance to others. It is wonderful that Mrs Lodge nominated me for this prestigious award. Thank you.
The Lowry at Manchester