Taking Advantage of Opportunities when they come knocking on the door.

As the old adage wisely proclaims, “Opportunity seldom knocks twice.”

Seizing opportunities and taking proactive steps can wield a profound impact on our lives, often distinguishing between success and failure. In today’s fiercely competitive and fast-paced world, it is essential to act upon opportunities whenever they arise. I consistently advise Barry girls to recognise that opportunities surround us, patiently awaiting our embrace. Whether it’s a chance to acquire a new skill, engage in a competition, embark on a fresh project, connect with new individuals, or gain valuable work experience, capitalizing on these opportunities will foster personal growth and bring you closer to achieving your aspirations.

Over the past few months, many Barry pupils eagerly embraced the opportunities that came their way. It was truly heartening to witness them taking risks, displaying curiosity and optimism, expanding their social networks, and ultimately achieving success. Here, I highlight some of the remarkable opportunities that Barry pupils have undertaken.


Every day at John Locke, we would have a series of seminars and precepts. I really enjoyed the precepts as they were an opportunity to further discuss what we had learned in the lectures. With about 8 pupils in a precept with one professor, we had more chances to voice our own opinions. My group’s preceptor was Dr Davies, a Historian, and he taught us a lot about how history is perceived and how we should be aware of our misconceptions. The precept that marked me the most, however, was a precept with Dr Whyte, where he talked about how South Africa’s trade blocks during the Apartheid era were extremely beneficial to the South African economy, effectively defeating the point of it.

Alongside the seminars and precepts, we also had lectures where everyone gathered in the dining hall for 45 minutes. These were extremely informative and covered a wide variety of topics. My favourite talks were by Dr Steve Davies, who focused on History, and Dr Jamie Whyte, who focused on The Social Contract. We had 3 lectures a day for the 6 days we were there.

I didn’t know if I would be able to bring many of the concepts we talked about into my school work, but have already found most of the topics discussed extremely useful.

During our free time on campus, we were able to go out into Oxford. We went on a tour of a different college, punting, and short excursions into the shopping mall, to go on a Harry Potter trip, a photoshoot, and a writers’ expedition. We had a great time looking at the architecture of Oxford and exploring the different opportunities. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to do all of these activities, but still had a wonderful time! This created even more chances to create good relationships with our peers. 

Clelia, Eva, Emily, and Annika (LV)

I participated in a Forensics Course with the organization InvestIn. This five-day program took place at UCL and provided me with a deeper understanding of a strong passion of mine. It taught me how to identify various blood patterns and their causes, as well as delving into ballistics. Beyond enhancing essential skills for a future in science, the course enabled me to establish valuable connections with prominent figures in the field of forensics, both at UCL and beyond. Not only did it focus on teaching us forensics, but it also offered guidance on the university application process, a topic often overlooked in school. In summary, it was an incredibly enriching course that has inspired me to pursue a course in medicine.

                                                                                                          Scarlett (LVI)

For the longest time, I had been disheartened by the lack of accessible hands-on clinical opportunities for high school students, until I discovered the Penn Medicine Program. This program provided me with the ideal chance to receive an early introduction to the fundamentals of medical training. I had the privilege of exploring a wide range of experiences, from acquiring knowledge about minimally invasive surgical techniques to gaining hands-on practice in blood draws, and even witnessing live surgeries and demonstrations. Through this program, I not only gained valuable skills but also forged meaningful friendships. Without a doubt, I will look back on this extraordinary experience with fond memories for many years to come.

                                                                                                                        Gloria (LVI)

Charity Work

I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the Bosphorus Cross-Continental swim alongside my father, all in the name of supporting the charity, Mary’s Meals. I wholeheartedly recommend this experience to anyone who has a passion for swimming. While the initial prospect may appear daunting, the 6.5-kilometer distance turned out to be less strenuous than expected, often requiring only around 4 kilometers due to the mighty and ever-changing currents, which vary from year to year.

The start of the swim was a bit chaotic, with over two thousand swimmers launching into the water at a brisk pace. However, as we progressed and reached the first bridge just 200 meters into the race, we found more space and began to swim freely. The journey took us past the fashionable district of Bebek, offering stunning views of Rumeli Castle and guiding us under one of the iconic bridges. This unique and surreal perspective from the water’s surface was a wholly novel experience for me. Surprisingly, despite being one of the world’s busiest waterways, serving tankers and heavy traffic, the water was astonishingly clean, thanks to the constant renewal driven by the current flowing from the Black Sea.

Swimming in such a majestic sea evoked a motivation that I rarely experience when swimming lengths in a pool, and the presence of jellyfish certainly kept me alert and focused. On our way to the airport later, we drove over the very bridge we had swum under, offering me a stunning panoramic view of the entire route we had conquered. It was truly a sight to behold.

So far, our efforts have yielded nearly £2,300 for this noble cause, and I am committed to pushing forward and reaching our final target of £3,000.

Please use the link to support Frances to reach her target. Just Giving: Mary’s Meals.

                                                                                                                         Frances (LVI)

During Short Leave I embarked on a 25-kilometer journey to support the Stokenchurch Dog Rescue, a local charity. The walk not only enabled me to contribute over £400 to the charity but also presented its own set of challenges, given the blisters on my feet from participating in DoE. However, the strenuous effort proved worthwhile, especially when I treated myself to some delightful ice cream at the halfway checkpoint. Despite the difficulties, I believe that everyone who participated in this event found it to be an enjoyable experience.

Please use the link to support Macy to reach her target Macy’s Just Giving – The Big Walk

                                                                                                                         Macy (LV)


Daisy and Tess ML were finalists in the Oxbright Essay Competition. Clelia and Abbey were finalists in WACMF.  Abbey was placed first in vocals.

Great job to everyone who has embraced the opportunity to forge new friendships and grow from the experience.  One thing that can make your daughter grab more opportunities is being willing to explore and not sticking only to what works. I encourage your daughters to take chances than to regret something later. As long as opportunities don’t bring severe threats and they are only thinking about uncertainties, they should try to grab new opportunities before they are gone and be willing to explore beyond their comfort zones.

Strike while the iron is hot.