6th February 2015
Each year a Year 13 student is selected to write a speech for the school's Annual General Meeting. This year we asked Neil Kraewinkels to deliver the 'Student Report'.
Here is a copy of his speech.
Good evening parents and teachers,
I came to the New School about three years ago. I was previously in a Catholic school in Brussels. When I walked in to this school I was taken aback by the greenery, fruit trees and gardens that surround this beautiful villa. But this wasn't the first surprise of the day. The second happened a few moments later when I settled into my new form group. As I was desperate to make a good impression and 'fit in', in walks one student with a cake. With sparklers on top.
I was expecting the teacher to be furious and for detention to follow but instead the teacher asked someone to get a knife and lighter. I was stupefied. This was unheard of at my previous school.
After a few weeks here I began to understand the nature - the unique nature of the New School Rome. They say that there is one rule here and that is respect. Respect for one another and respect for the people who educate us. It is true. Get that right and it is a winning combination. In my first few weeks I also began to understand the advantages that a small school can offer. In this school, I know everyone and everyone knows me. But not only do the students know each other, we know the teachers too. The school is therefore one big community with little or no hierarchy. The line between teacher and friend becomes very thin and makes learning all the more enjoyable. Our teachers aren't only nice and respectful though, they also give us the highest quality teaching I have yet experienced. They make any topic interesting and they will look for the best textbooks and/or other resources to give us a top notch education. For this, I would like to thank the teachers.
In addition, the small class sizes, especially at A-level, give rise to more personal teaching, giving every student equal opportunities. This means that we can ask for greater clarity and feel unashamed about it. I also get to explore my interests in much more depth at this school. For example, I recently had the opportunity to give a science demonstration to a primary school class during science week. I could propose experiments I wanted to demo. I do not believe I would have had this freedom at another school. Furthermore, now that the school has taken on the Extended Project Qualification, all students studying A-Level can further their interest in a chosen subject and better prepare themselves for university. This was a great decision by the school as one of my offers has been lowered thanks to my EPQ.
Students here also get a lot of support outside of the classroom - for example how we can be better students and how and which courses to choose at AS and A-Level. We are also helped through the stressful university application process.
All in all, with its nurturing environment and outstanding teachers the New School has given me and every student here a better chance to succeed in our future lives.