The early morning of 14th November was bitterly cold as we began our journey to Balfron High School, west of Stirling. The mountains had snow on their peaks, the colours of the Autumn trees and the air was crisp and frosty, the trip from Stirling to Balfron was truly beautiful.
As I arrived at Balfron you could see the pride that students and staff had in the school, it was spotless and so well cared for. Balfron High has many notable sporting former students as well as the current Secretary for Northern Ireland. As we walked through the school the students were so well mannered and respectful. GAU we were shown into the well-equipped theatre that was to be the venue for the two presentations.
The students for both presentations were so well behaved as they entered the theatre. They sat down and prepared for the presentation. All through both presentations you could have heard a pin drop. Many of the students were in tears however you could see that they understood the message of GAU, reject hate and stand for unity. We faced a barrage of great questions from the students that showed their understanding and awareness. At one point we had some fifty students gathered round, asking questions, shaking hands and a good few hugs. The way that these inspiring students took GAU to their hearts was so moving.
I was given many challenge card replies that you can see here http://bit.ly/ChallengeCardReplies. I was moved to tears by the kindness of the students and staff. GAU has received many messages from parents, teachers and students since we returned home. They are all deeply appreciated.
My visit to this great school was incredible, as headteacher Ms Bannatyne remarked GAU received the “Balfron Love” and we certainly did. The schools we visit are always impressive however occasionally there are real gems and Balfron is diamond. The parents of the attending students to Balfron should know how wonderful this school is. Staff, teachers and students of this superb school should be rightfully be proud of their school and their wonderful environment they have created.
A massive massive thank you to Ms Bannatyne, the teachers, staff and students. I look forward to a return visit.