During the course of this week, we have held a series of transition mornings where our pupils meet their teachers for next year in the Junior School and new pupils can also join their year groups in anticipation for their entry in September. This is particularly true for September’s Year 7 cohort as they enter the Senior School. This year group will be made up of a mix of our Year 6 and new pupils joining from local primaries. We enjoyed seeing everyone and Mr Jeffery welcomed the pupils, along with a rendition of Happy Birthday on the ukulele for some of the children celebrating their birthdays.  This is some of his speech to the new pupils, delivered to the new Senior School students but pertinent for all our pupils throughout the school.

“I want you to know how excited we are to welcome you here. Sion exists for young people. We work here to serve you. It really is wonderful to look out across this school hall and see so many of you who will soon be joining our family here.

Sion is a special school with a special ethos. Children have been learning here since 1862. There is a lot of history linked to this school and you are Sion’s future. That’s exciting!

Sion is a unique school. To be part of Sion carries with it certain responsibilities. Unkindness is not tolerated. Bullying is a disgrace. Rudeness and disrespect will be challenged, and poor behaviour and bad language will always be challenged. Sion students demonstrate how communities should live together. We all work hard to consider one another and build each other up rather than destroying each other – that is not how we want to live here.

I love this school. I wish that when I was your age, I came to a school like this. You should feel very blessed that you have a place here. I really hope that you will feel proud to be part of such an amazing school and my prayer is that you will make it even better because you are here.
Think about your impact on this community. What will your reputation be? What will be our first impressions of you? How will you serve Sion as Sion serves you? What are your dreams? What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? Aim for the sky – you are an amazing person. Yes, I mean you!

This room is currently filled with so much potential – can you feel the energy? I can.

It’s exciting. It’s very exciting. I am very glad that you are here. Make it count. Every moment of every day – use it for good. Develop yourself and encourage others to do the same. Set yourself goals each day and work hard to achieve them.

Whilst you are here, I would like you to learn about yourself. I would like you to learn what it means to love others. I want you to discover more about yourself and how you might use your life to serve people. I want you to believe in yourself – to not be afraid of failure, but to use failure to propel yourself to carry on towards success. I want you to aim high and achieve amazing things – making yourself proud and even surprising yourself. I want you to fall in love with learning. I want you to respond to what you see happening in the world. I want you to discuss your feelings and share your views. I want you to be proud of who you are and never try to be something that you are not. I want you to challenge injustice and abuse. I want you to hate bullying but learn to love the bully. I want you to look out for others and notice those who look sad or lonely. I want you to feel at home with saying I believe in God or I don’t believe in God, or I love Allah or I follow Jesus or Om Shanti or “Black Lives Matter” or “I’m not sure, can you help me understand more about what you believe?” Let’s celebrate our individuality and encourage one other to be ourselves.”