Paralympian Claire Harvey speaks at Elvin Opening Ceremony

London 2012 Paralympian Claire Harvey was guest of honour at our official Opening Ceremony on 9th October. Claire, who captained Team GB's sitting volleyball team, gave a motivational speech on why pupils should follow our school values and motto and 'dare for greatness'.

She inspired pupils, teachers, and guests from the wider ARK family, with stories of her personal journey since being paralysed in one leg after an accident in 2012. She said "The motto magna aude is one that I lived by when I dared for Paralympic greatness ... what I learned is that you don’t have to see the whole journey to take your first step – greatness means knowing you are better today than you were yesterday, every single day.”

Principal Annabel Bates reminded pupils: “Our motto is magna aude, which means ‘dare for greatness’, and we talk every day about how each of us can achieve this: through pursuing audacious goals, acting with integrity, and making sure we are always learning.”

New ARK Elvin Head Girl Rashmi Raghavani hosted the event, while the Head Boy Syed Haque also gave a speech, recounting how he learned the importance of the values of courage and community when supporting a friend with Aspergers Syndrome.

After the event, Sixth Formers from the new Pupil Leadership Committee mingled with visitors and commented on how they have already begun to notice the difference in the school just weeks after opening. Year 12 pupil Kishankumar Patel, who has been at the school since Year 7, said: “ARK is definitely the best thing that has happened to this school.

“The teachers are really focused on behaviour and pupils’ personal development. We have a longer school day and extended time with our form teachers, so we can each focus on our own goals.”

Kishan, who is studying for his A Levels in Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Maths, hopes to go to university and study chemical engineering.