VIDEO: Pupils inspire each other to seize every opportunity

Past and present students of Tanbridge House School put on an inspiring assembly on Tuesday (February 11).

Year seven pupils heard how they could achieve their goals by taking part in the school’s ambassador programme or by seizing any opportunity they are given.

Work experience stars at Tanbridge House School. Speakers arrive. Photo by Derek Martin

Work experience stars at Tanbridge House School. Speakers arrive. Photo by Derek Martin

Headteacher Mr Jules White opened the presentation by telling the young students that he hoped the school would provide them each with opportunities which could allow them all to be exceptional every day.

He said the ambassador programme would be offered to them in Year 7 which would give them the opportunity to work in the industry they were interested in for one day.

Justine Harding, 20, told the assembly she took part in the programme nine years ago.

She spent a day looking behind the scenes of the West End Theatre production Dirty Dancing.

She said the experience gave her a new-found appreciation for all the behind the scenes workings of the theatre.

She is now studying Drama in her second year of university and aspires to work behind the theatre curtain.

Poppy Durkan, 18, told the students how she worked her way up to national competing standard in the sport of rowing, within just one year of discovering the sport.

She said she had always dreamt of being a gymnast or a dancer but had trouble reaching the same skill level as those she trained with.

But one day she was told, as a tall girl, she was better suited to rowing.

She tried out the sport and found herself hooked.

Now Poppy trains with a former Olympic rowing coach as well as studying for her A levels at a boarding school.

She has accepted an invitation to train with an all men squad meaning she has to train very hard as she is rowing alongside a number of champions.

She said: “My coach makes me get out on the water no matter what the weather.

“At the weekend when it was raining so much I couldn’t see the end of my boat. In the winter last year it was minus five. My coach would go out and break the ice so we could go.”

Poppy’s aim is to get into Durham University, which she said had ‘the best rowing team’.

She must achieve an A* and two As in her A-levels in order to get into the University.

She said: “Just grab every opportunity that’s given to you at this school.

“I know if I hadn’t taken that opportunity to try this sport I had never done before I would never have found the sport that I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Mr White told the pupils other success stories.

He spoke fondly of Josh Read, 20, who was an aspiring fashion designer when he was at school.

Mr White said: “We didn’t allow Josh to wear his designs to school but he was a fantastic student. We know he will be an enormous success.”

Josh is now studying fashion design at Kingston University and he aspires to work as a fashion designer in New York.