I recently attended a business conference at Hayes School.

The students did a brilliant job of organising it. They emailed and phoned visitors with reminders to attend, welcomed us at the gate, provided coffee and pastries, arranged excellent speeches by the head teacher, Mayor of Bromley and ‘social media expert’, Noam Kostucki, followed by one-to-one student interviews and speed networking. They also provided feedback forms so attendees could comment on what went well (and what they might do differently next time).

All in all, it was a most impressive event.

I was interested to note the school motto is ‘Excellence through endeavour‘.

It reminded me of the book Bounce by Matthew Syed. I’m over-simplifying, but he controversially argues that there is no such thing as talent; instead, all achievement is the result of hard work, determination and practice. Instead of praising children for their ability (which ultimately demotivates them), you should praise them for their effort (which encourages them to do even more).

In this age of X-Factor and ‘overnight success’, it seems the Hayes School motto is along the right lines. The students I met certainly worked hard to ensure their event was a success, and I applaud them.

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