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15 September 2023

Head Girl's Blog

Welcome back everyone!

It is my pleasure to welcome everyone back to the new year. I hope that you all feel fully rested and ready to explore new opportunities in the coming term.

I would love to welcome all new students to the College. I am sure you are all finding your feet at the moment, but we are so excited to have you at St. Francis’. I hope you are settling in well and excited to make some memories.

Starting a new year group can be a bit frightening. It’s change and change can be worrying. New classrooms, new subjects, new teachers. Some of you may be starting academic journeys, such as GCSEs or A Levels whilst others may be simply moving up a year group, but these changes can seem daunting.

The thing with anxiety and worry is that they’re not very helpful. It’s far better to channel these feelings into more productive emotions, like excitement or motivation. Now, I am fully aware that this is far simpler said than done. It takes practice, like most things, but sometimes you simply need take 3 deep breaths and face your fears head on. I think you’ll find that the scary things become less nerve-wracking when you look at them from a new perspective:

  • Worried about having a different teacher to last year? Go and introduce yourself. You may find that the teacher already knows a bit about you, but if not, let them know a few things about you. Your teachers will get to know you very quickly and will figure out how you learn best. The teachers are the heart of the school and are always looking out for everyone.
  • Nervous about new lessons? If you are starting a new subject this year, there is no need to worry. You will find that everyone is in the same boat and are at the same starting point as you.
  • Worried about friendships? I think with this one, a smile goes a long way. Kindness is the most important thing and St. Francis’ holds kindness at its core. Be friendly to everyone, and the rest will fall into place.
  • Stressed about exams? Some of you will be entering GCSE years and A Level years. These can seem daunting, and stress can build up quickly. It is important to keep these exams in perspective – the best you do on the day is simply the best you can do. I have no doubt you will work hard, but it is important to make time for yourself throughout the year. Perhaps you enjoy a certain TV series or movie? Maybe it’s listening to music, dance, exercise, or hanging out with your friends? It is a good idea to identify what you enjoy doing so that you can recognise the signs of stress and distract yourself.
  • Concerned about who to talk to? The support network at St. Francis’ is huge. From pastoral members of SLT, led by Mrs Foster, to the Pastoral Support Officer, Miss Dickerson, to your form tutors, Head of Years, or even your friends. There will always be someone at St. Francis’ looking out for you.

I am very excited about this year, and I hope you are too. I recommend that over the next few days you take some time to find your feet, settle into your new year group and (from personal experience) try and get organised.

Let’s make this year one to remember!