Sunday, December 3, 2023

From Zambia to Romania to Thurrock

I try to keep my twitters as relevant as possible: none of this: “Bread in toaster, will I put marmalade or honey?” or other inanities. On thursday evening I wrote: “Why is it that people who write wiv, fink and dat join facebook groups: “If you want to live in this country, learn the language.”

Next morning, we were filming at Ormiston Park Academy in Aveley. A number of pupils had passed their GCSE’s six months early.

The first three we interviewed were a revelation: The first was from Zambia, the second from Poland and the third from Romania. All were pleased but also had a steely determination that this was just the beginning for them. All of them wanted to go onto university and make something of themselves.

Indeed, the romanian student had only come to the country in Year 8 and couldn’t speak english and yet gained a B in English. However, she told us that her parents were disappointed that she did not gain an A.

Statistics suggest that it is this new lifeblood which is going to drive the borough forward and be a vital cog in the regeneration agenda.

At the same time: Key Stage 2 results (Year 6) results indicate that there is a real malaise among white working class boys but what is equally worrying is the lack of ambition that careers teachers are witnessing among Year 10 and 11 boys as well.

But was it ever thus. Perhaps they haven’t found a niche yet but time and tide wait for no man. In the human race, if you don’t get to the start line, don’t complain about those who have won the medals.

At the end of the day, we went to the Culver Centre in South Ockendon for a film on the work that Nacro, Thurrock Council, Youth and Connexions do with young people.

With the lure of the park, the cider and a dispersal order, it is vital that schemes such as this are backed to give young men a feeling of self worth.


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