I Can and I Am

This week we were delighted to welcome guest speaker James Shone to the school.

To appreciate the significance of this visit, and how inspired we were, its useful to understand Jame’s story.  Following a sixteen year career in several boarding schools, James was appointed as Headmaster to Monkton Prep School in 2012. During his medical assessment prior to beginning his role as Headmaster a brain tumour was discovered.

Over the coming months James underwent two significant operations spending 11 weeks in hospital. Whilst the operations saved his life, they took most of his sight. James had to relinquish a dream job, undergo radiotherapy and then set off into a new future without employment or buoyant health.

James is a man who embodies a positive attitude to life and a determination to turn setbacks into springboards. This is a message that he now adopts everyday himself as well as sharing it with a wider audience through his ‘I can and I am’ charity campaign. The charity raises valuable funds to enable the messages of ‘I Can and I Am’ to be spread to as many school children as possible across the UK.

James spent an entire day at the school, presenting his story to pupils, staff and parents later in the evening. Throughout his presentations, James stressed the importance of asking ourselves in what ways we are intelligent whilst stressing the importance of adopting a growth mind-set rather than a fixed mind-set.  A growth mind-set revolves around not solely depending on our current abilities but instead working harder to achieve more. There was also a consistent emphasis on striving to find our own individual purpose as this can significantly increase self-belief and self-confidence.

We are grateful and honoured that James visited the school to share his experiences and messages with us. If you would like to read more about his ‘I can and I am’ charity please visit his website.