High Flyers : Bright Spark Launch

The High Flyers vision came from the Northwood College belief in a growth mindset and that every girl has the potential to achieve.  We know that every intelligence isn’t something that you are born with, no one has a ‘talent’ but everyone has an interest that grows. The ability to ‘fly high’ comes from hard work and determination, and so this programme was designed to give our girls the opportunity to explore the subjects they love outside of the classroom so that they can really flourish.

“My great concern is that in our attempt to counter these stereotypes and build girls’ confidence in their intellectual abilities, we now heap intelligence praise on them” – Carol Dweck, Self Theories: Their roe in motivation, personality and development, 2000.

As Carol Dweck’s research points out, if we praise ‘intelligence’ as something that we just have then we ignore the hard work and processes that goes into what we do. What we should be doing is praising the effort and strategies that go into our girls’ success.

So, the girls were issued with a Parallel Curriculum which gave them multiple opportunities and activities that allowed them to practise the subjects they love, they were simply told that they could do what they wanted. This is because we want to foster independence and love of learning.

Since February, the girls were asked to work on an article inspired by the activities they have carried out from the parallel curriculum. These articles are what have been published and we are so proud of what our girls have achieved. The journal shows that with the right opportunities, hard work and determination, anyone can ‘fly high’ and I think you will agree that it makes for a fascinating read!

Then the girls did 4 ‘TED Talk’ style presentations, these were from Francesca Hawes and Kiera Patel in year 8 with ‘Our ‘High Flyers Journey’ In Acronym’ which discussed the attributes that they had developed as part of the High Flyers programme, giving the message that anyone could be a ‘High Flyer’.

Charlotte Landsbert and Riana Kamdar in Year 7 with ‘Strong women and what we can learn from them…’ – this went through several examples of women who inspired them and what attributes we can learn from them.

Aleena Dewji and Simran Varia in Year 9 with ‘Friend or Foe?’ this gave a dramatic description of the two possible futures we face. One where technology control us and makes humans redundant, the other where technology and innovation can cultivate human creativity and flourishing, finishing with the question “What do we want for our future?”

Finally, we had Inaara Rattansi and Priyana Malde in Year 10 with ‘The Heinz Dilemma and The Kohlberg Theory’ – this explored an thought experiment which then asked the audience to consider which stage of ethical development they were at, and being in the majority here, wasn’t necessarily the best ethical code to have.

Mrs J Hughes