Jess - Head Girl class of 2022
When I first joined Aylsham High School, 5 years ago, I never thought that I could or would ever go for the position of Head Girl. I was quiet, shy and extremely nervous with little confidence, so if at that point, you’d have told me in 5 years time I’d be the Head Girl I never would have believed it.
I remember watching the Head Girl and Boy present a speech to me and my fellow year 6s on open evening and my dad whispering to me, “Wow, that could be you up there one day,” and I definitely disagreed! I was the opposite of a confident public speaker, and to be completely honest, I’m still not fully comfortable in front of lots of people now, but my experience as Head Girl has increased my confidence levels no end.
Even at the beginning of year 11 I never thought I would be applying for the role, but I took time to think about what an amazing opportunity and experience it would be, so eventually I ended up applying. Even then I think the only reason I put myself forward was because I knew how incredible the other candidates were and I didn’t really believe in myself – and If I didn’t believe I would get it, it wasn’t too scary to think about.
However, I can’t emphasise enough how glad I am that I stepped out of my comfort zone because I surprised myself entirely, and this year has been absolutely amazing.
I remember the final candidates were called into the conference room to be told the decision, which was made by the Heads of Houses (following the individual speeches we had to present to them) and Mr Spalding (following our own interviews with him and the former head boy and girl). Hearing my name was surreal: I couldn’t believe it and telling my parents was a special moment as they were unbelievably proud of me.
Being Head Girl has given me the chance to meet some truly inspiring people such as Lady Dannett – the Queen’s representative for Norfolk; create speeches to perform in front of very large crowds of people (which has entirely changed my self-confidence); host the school music show; present the school itself to visitors; and work with Mr Spalding to share student opinions on our school systems, alongside so much more.
I have learnt so much from getting to know the teachers here better: helping them set up evenings and school events. I would say it has been a truly invaluable experience, one I will not forget, and one made even better by working with Joe as it has been so much fun. As this year has been a difficult one for everyone, it means even more to me that I was given the opportunity to be Head Girl and I would say it is an achievement I am really proud of to conclude my final year here.
My best advice to anyone aspiring to apply for Head Boy or Girl is to just do it. Don’t be put off by the fact you might feel you are not confident enough or even good enough, because I can assure you are so much more capable than you believe. If you’re reliable, committed, positive and excited to work hard and experience the things the role has to offer in your last year then what are you waiting for? The interview process itself is a useful experience and I’m sure anyone who decided not to even try with an application looking back, would regret it. My experiences as Head Girl and applying for the role are all experiences I will use for my future applications to colleges and universities.
I would strongly recommend to anyone even remotely thinking about it to send in an application letter, because there is nothing to lose and so much to gain.
Joe - Head Boy class of 2022
These past five years at Aylsham have been absolutely fantastic, and my amazing time here has only been amplified by having the fantastic opportunity to take up the position of Head Boy. I have made so many great memories and it has been an experience that will live with me for the rest of my life.
When I first arrived in year 7, I wasn’t anywhere near as confident as I am now, and it is not only being Head Boy that has helped to develop me as a person. Throughout my time at school, I have always tried to get involved in clubs and activities, as well as taking up positions such as Form Leader, and these were my first steps to working with others.
I was also fortunate enough to be involved in the school musicals of Sister Act and My Fair Lady, and going up on stage to act in front of a large audience, whilst being very daunting and outside of my comfort zone, significantly helped me to build up confidence but also an ability to work with others from all year groups.
At the time we had to decide what roles to go for in year 11, I was certain that I wanted to try and go for Head Boy because I knew the incredible opportunities it gave, and I also felt like it would be a great way to give back to the school after it has helped me so much as a person.
However, I was willing to put lots of effort into any student leadership role - if I was chosen for one - as they all are important in helping both the school and the person in that position to develop.
After being told that my application had put me through to the interviews for being Head Boy, I was extremely happy and excited. The interviews are a good experience themselves, and even though they are nerve-wracking, they helped me to grow as a person. This is especially since, on the day of the interviews, I was told that I needed to isolate at home.
At first, I was devastated because I had been building myself up to this moment for a while. But, we managed to work around this and still complete my interview virtually. This leads me to what I think is extremely important when applying for Head Boy or Girl – passion and determination. If you are willing to work hard and overcome any obstacles that might be in your way, and bring perseverance and kindness with you, then I believe that you would do amazingly, not only in a role such as Head Boy, but in anything you do.
As I have said, these past five years at AHS have been brilliant and, now that I am close to leaving the school, I am proud of the community the teachers and students here have managed to create. This last year in particular has been great, and I have loved being able to work with teachers around the school, and sharing this experience with Jess has only made it better.
I would highly recommend putting your name down for Head Boy or Head Girl. If you don’t believe you are confident enough or you think you don’t have a chance, don’t let this bother you at all – there is always a chance and confidence builds and grows with you as you take on the role.
I wish everyone luck in applying for student leadership roles, and urge you to apply for any position in school as you will not regret it.