Milton Keynes primary school students motivated by inspirational professionals during aspiration week

    On Thursday 13 June 2024, a wave of inspiration swept through Falconhurst Primary School in Eaglestone, MK, as students welcomed a group of successful professionals who shared their motivational stories.

    The invitees shared their life journeys to the year 5 and 6 students as part of their biannual Aspiration Week. The school had orchestrated this event as part of their ongoing initiative to inspire and motivate students by connecting them with successful individuals from their community, but also to educate them on their responsibilities of being safe in the community particularly around the risks of gangs and knives.

    Falconhurst Primary School thank Paul Stewart from MK Dons and Karen Hancox from the Safety Centre for their support and collaboration in delivering safety awareness workshops earlier in the week.

    Among the distinguished visitors was the Milton Keynes Mayor, Marie Bradburn; Mike Clare, philanthropist and Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire; Sabrina Shadie, founder of D’Rose Development Consulatancy, and Paul Oxborough the founder of a national mental health charity – Mental Health Motorbikes. Their stories of perseverance, determination, and success left a lasting impression on the young audience, fostering dreams and igniting the belief that they too can achieve greatness.

    Falconhurst School buzzed with excitement as students gathered in the assembly hall, awaiting the arrival of their special guests. The event commenced with a game of ‘guess who’, where the children were able to ask each guest three questions to try and guess what profession they were in.

    The children were engaged and the School Governor, Gill Wood, was accurate when she said, “The children were held spellbound by the real-life stories of these professionals and the children’s questions were searching and well researched”.

    Following the game of ‘guess who’, the students heard inspiring speeches from each of the professionals, including Milton Keynes Councillor, Waqas Ahmad. He stood to address the children, with his friendly smile capturing the children’s attention. Councillor Waqas Ahmad began his address by sharing his own humble beginnings in Pakistan and the challenges he faced growing up. “Dream big and never give up. Anything people challenge me or tell me I can’t do, I do”, he said.

    After the inspiring speeches, a lively Q&A session took place in the children’s classrooms where students had the opportunity to ask the guests questions. Hands shot up around the room as eager students, inspired by what they had heard, sought advice and shared their own aspirations. They discussed all about the things that interest and inspire them, particularly discussing careers, pathways, successes and challenges. Heartfelt questions were heard from the students such as, “Do black and brown people have the same opportunities as white people?”, along with, “What do you wish you had of done differently in your early life?”

    The fantastic event concluded with some of the Falconhurst children presenting poems they had created themselves to the professionals about their own life experiences, hopes, dreams and worries for themselves and their community. These poems were outstanding and very personal. The room was full of emotion and the realisation that change needs to happen in our community to give these children the opportunities they deserve.

    A round of applause echoed around the room with the promise to support and encourage young people to pursue their dreams and aspirations.

    Assistant Headteacher, Mathew Nash, expressed his gratitude to the guests for taking the time to inspire the students, “It's crucial for children to see and hear from role models who have achieved success through hard work and determination, and often in the face of adversity. Today, the students learned that their dreams are valid and achievable. Future entrepreneurs, life coaches, advisors, artists, musicians, sportsmen and women are sitting in our midst.”  

    Nash continued, “But what is more important to me is that our young people will take inspiration from your stories, backgrounds and success alongside a consistent clear message to them: you can achieve; never give up; the world is open to you. (And school is important!). We have always believed in the potential of our students, but today, they heard it from people who have walked similar paths and achieved their goals. That kind of affirmation is priceless.

    The event at Falconhurst School serves as a reminder of the power of community and the importance of role models in shaping the aspirations of young minds. As the students returned to their daily routines, they carried with them a newfound belief in their abilities and the knowledge that success is within reach, regardless of the challenges they may face.

    The success of this event has inspired Falconhurst School to continue to run similar events in the future. They aim to bring in a diverse range of speakers from various fields to ensure that every student can find a role model they can relate to and learn from.

    Special thanks to the local professionals for their willingness to share their stories and connect with the younger generation, highlighting the importance of giving back to the community and investing in its future.

    In the words of Milton Keynes Mayor, Marie Bradburn “Always try your best. If you do your best, you can’t ask for anymore”.

    It was clear that the visit to Falconhurst School had sown seeds of inspiration that would grow and flourish in the hearts and minds of its students for years to come. The community can look forward to seeing these young dreamers turn their aspirations into reality, fuelled by the belief that they too can achieve greatness.

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