School stands out – and remembers

“STAND out and be remembered!

That was the advice to students from Claire Young, a runner-up in series four of TV’s “The Apprentice” when she was a guest at Brighouse High School’s open day.

The often outspoken entrepreneur, dubbed “The Rottweiler” on the popular reality show, was helping the school celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Claire spoke about her “Apprentice” experience – she fought her way through to the final four in the 2008 series losing out to Lee McQueen – and advised students on what it takes to run a successful business.

She said that being on the show had changed her life and emphasised the importance of compling a CV that stands out from the rest. She discussed with students about running the new gym based at the high school in Finkil Street as a business enterprise for the students who secured thousands of pounds worth of funding to set it up.

She said the most important part was having a business plan and said how this would help the students in the future. “When people are interviewing you they are looking for the people that stand out. Headlights should be flashing when you hand over your CV. Employers want people who have that get up and go. At the end of the day it all comes down to survival of the fittest.”

Another guest, climber Andy Cave, told how he left school with no qualifications to work in the coalmining industry. He described how he got hooked on climbing and how it helped him in a change of career. He eventually went on to gain a PhD qualification.

“Climbing changed my life. It was fantastic to get to the top of the climbs but more than that it introduced me to a different set of people. I met people that had been to university and I started to think and dream about whether I could go to university,” he said.

Andy opened the climbing wall which is now available for the pupils in the school hall. Funding for the project, which cost in the region of £10,000, was secured by teacher Sue Carter and was the vision new PE teacher Steve Bishop.

During the open day there was the unveiling of a new bench in memory of student Nathan Jones who died three years ago. Nathan would have been leaving the high school this term and his friends, family and former staff who knew him from both Brighouse High and St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Brighouse, gathered for the ceremony.

There was a poem and a song sung by pupil Bethany Dimmock before Janet Jones, Nathan’s mum, cut the ribbon. She and Nathan’s dad, Steve, thanked the school for the bench and for remembering their son.

They all gathered to release balloons which has been a tradition at the school for the last three years.

Former and present staff, pupils and governors spent the afternoon visiting Madonna’s Cafe, a 1980s styled cafe in the school library, had lunch and had various themes in each subject department looking at the last 25 years and the next 25 years to come.

The new poly tunnel was opened during the day which was hailed a huge success. And the day ended with an arts evening, Chinese lessons, a comedy event and the unveiling of a bench dedicated to the memory of Mel Westwood, an IT teacher at the sixth form, who died last year.

Mr Westwood’s family attended the event at the high school. They said they would like to thank the high school for their kindness and generosity. “We thought it was a really lovely thing to do,” said his stepdaughter Donna Turner.

The bench will be moved down to the sixth form centre.