YEAR 9 PUPIL
Before I thought about what I was going to say in this debate, I had never really thought about how good Harris really is. Shortly after I started, Harris was put into Special Measures. This could be seen as a negative thing, but I think it is positive because, though being in special measures the school accepted its weaknesses and worked together with governors, diocese, staff, parents and us as pupils to make the improvements required to make us a good if not outstanding school.
Part of these improvements meant we got a new head teacher, who believes in our school and wants us to succeed. Since he joined us at Harris I have seen many improvements, the obvious one being better exam results. The atmosphere around school is now much better and our teachers seem more settled therefore our lessons and our learning environment is more inspiring.
The school has come together as a whole and now work as one big team; the head includes us all in decision making giving us a sense of ownership and pride in our school. This isn’t the case in all schools but it is what makes Harris great. Can you say this about your school? I doubt it!
At Harris, we have been at rock bottom and have worked hard to make the improvements to get us to the top. We are not there yet, but we are well on the way now. We know what effort it takes to get to the top and can now say we are strong enough to stay there.
I am in my third year at Harris and I believe that the difficult times, the hard work staff and students, the teamwork and family atmosphere is what makes Harris a great school and the centre of our community, Yes exam results are important but there is more to a school, and Harris is a great example of what a school should be. In fact, the Miley Cyrus song, The Climb, could easily be our school song.
YEAR 9 PUPIL
When I first proposed the question ‘Why is Harris such a great place to learn?’ upon reflection it suddenly struck me at how much Harris has improved over the last three years.
Harris Academy has great values and visions to develop the school into becoming and continue to be Harmonious, Aspirational, Responsible, Respectful, Inspirational and Sociable; this is something I believe is unique to Harris. We work together in harmony, as a community. We support and care for others, teaching us to become selfless individuals. This skill will be very useful in later life; at Harris we don’t just learn academics, we are educated in becoming rounded individuals.
Furthermore, we are able to work in fantastic specialist facilities, for example – the Sports Centre.
Few other schools would e able to offer such amazing opportunities. It is the perfect place for a child to thrive and achieve the best they can in such specialist learning environments. Pupils are able to enjoy learning, with the knowledge that they are in the best place possible to be educated.
Not only this, but Harris students and teachers show genuine kindness and support towards others. A prime example of this is when I was asked to talk about my spinal operation in whole school assembly. As you can imagine, I was worried at how people would respond although these worries in vain, People, of whom I was unfamiliar with, came to speak to me in school and in the local town. I was amazed at how much positive feedback I received and it demonstrated a true reflection of how Harris pupils are taught to behave.
This leads on to my next point that Harris is inclusive; no matter what your ethnicity, academic ability or economic background is, Harris will accept you for who you are. It gives pupils a chance to discover and explore their true personality and not feel pressured into being someone they are not. This in turn creates a positive learning atmosphere because people accept each other and everyone is true to themselves. As a Christian school, we tale pride in the fact we are unique and made in the image of God. Our foundations are constructed by our Christian values which allow us to truly discover our talents from God. We know that we are united in our differences which is why we can learn together as a community.
Finally, Harris Academy is a great place to learn because we will always continue to improve. We strive to be the best we can be, and our ambition is what takes us forward. We have fantastic Leadership, which provides the Harris community with the confidence that Harris Academy’s future is bright. Already we have seen a 19% improvement of pupils achieving A*-C’s, including English and Maths over the last two years. This proves that there is no ceiling to our achievements; Harris knows this, hence why it is a great environment to learn.