7 May 2021
Empowering girls to use their voices was one of the key messages in a speech that clinched the title of next Head Girl at Edgbaston High School, Birmingham, recently.
Voted for by staff and peers in years 10, 11, 12 and 13, Fareedat, aged 16, beat off stiff competition from six other candidates following a detailed application submission, staff panel interview and a four-minute speech delivered to the whole school.
Fareedat’s winning speech revealed how, having developed a reputation as a ‘naughty girl’ in her younger years, her Nan would counsel that she “must not hold on to past mistakes but place them under her feet and use them as stepping stones”. Wise words and words that clearly resonated as with the guidance of her Nan and the patience of EHS staff, by Year 9, Fareedat had turned things around dramatically. Now, in Year 12 and studying English, Drama and History at A’level, she is an EHS English scholar, as well as the school’s next Head Girl. Re-energising and restructuring the School Council to make sure that every student has a chance to be heard and has a voice is Fareedat’s main priority as considers the role of Head Girl to be about representing everyone, not about her as an individual.
Fareedat will be joined on the EHS Leadership Team by Lucy and Natalia, also in year 12, who were subsequently voted in as the next Deputy Head Girls. Studying Physics, Maths, Chemistry and Spanish, Natalia is also working towards a British Science Gold Crest Award in the area of engineering and science. An active member of the school and local community, Natalia’s pitch focused on the African philosophy of ‘Ubuntu’ a phrase that roughly translates as ‘I am because we all are’: a philosophy of community well-being that she hopes to embed further into student life at EHS.
Her counterpart, Lucy, is taking A’levels in Psychology, Religious Studies, Economics and doing the Extended Project Qualification. Lucy wants to use her tenure to re-energise and bring year groups closer together following the pandemic, through a combination of social events and boosting the already extensive extra-curricular clubs programme at the school.
Congratulating the girls, Head Teacher, Clare Macro, said:
“We say this every year but this year, we were totally blown away by the passion and brilliance of all of the candidates. Our new Leadership Team really are a force to be reckoned with and we’re excited to see just what they can achieve.
“Fostering leadership skills, building confidence and helping girls to recognise the value of their contributions are all hugely important life skills and we are very conscious of nurturing them here at EHS. We’ve all heard of the pay gap and the glass ceiling but if we can start to empower girls in the safety of the school environment, our hope is that as they make their way in the world, that self-belief is internalised and stays with them.”
Fareedat, Natalia and Lucy will take up their roles as the new EHS Leadership Team from September 2021. Read about their aspirations for their new roles at https://bit.ly/3gf2nO9 and https://bit.ly/3e9k0MG.
EHS will be holding a whole school Open Event this summer that will give prospective families the chance to explore the whole school right through from Nursery and Preparatory to Senior and Sixth Form Departments. For updates, more information or to register, visit www.edgbastonhigh.co.uk, email [email protected] or telephone 0121 454 5831.