Year 7 students at Cardinal Newman Catholic School learnt life lessons on how to build their confidence and resilience and grow into successful happy adults when best-selling children’s author Matthew Syed paid them a special visit.
Matthew Syed, whose ‘You Are Awesome – Find Your Confidence and Dare to be Brilliant at (Almost) Anything’ book topped the children’s bestseller list in 2018, came to address the Year 7 students who had all received copies of his book to read over the Summer ready for starting at the school in September. Matthew spoke about the inspiration behind the book and how students can learn from it. He then met with a group of Year 7 students to run a Growth Mindset Workshop.
The students were excited to meet Matthew, who is not only a renowned author but an award-winning journalist with The Times and former Olympic sportsman who represented Great Britain at the 2000 Olympics in table tennis and is also a former Commonwealth champion.
Described as practical, insightful and positive by the critics, ‘You Are Awesome’ inspires and empowers young readers to find the confidence to realise their potential. It uses examples of successful people from Mozart to Serena Williams to demonstrate that success really is earned rather than given, and that talent can be acquired. With hard work and determination, practice and self-belief, and, most importantly, a Growth Mindset, there’s no reason why anyone can’t achieve anything.
Ziggy Anderson-Ager, Year 7 student, said: “I loved the book – it was really inspiring and uplifting! I was really excited to meet him and hear about his journey and learn how he got into sport and journalism as he has had such an interesting life. The session was really fun.”
Sam Power, Year 7 student, said: “I learnt that, if you try hard, you can pretty much achieve anything. I’ve never met an author before so it was really inspiring to meet him and hear his story.”
Lily Gifford, Year 7 student, said: “The book has taught me that that everyone makes mistakes, even famous people! They learnt by their mistakes and improved and are now the best which is really inspiring. I was intrigued to know more about the author behind the book. It was a really interesting session.”
Dr James Kilmartin, Principal, said: “This was a fantastic experience for our students which gave them the opportunity to meet a really inspirational writer. Growth mindset is important here at Cardinal Newman as we strive for the highest quality of learning and teaching that inspires us all to discover and develop our God-given gifts and talents. We were delighted that Matthew Syed could come and explain his book in more detail and our students thoroughly enjoyed the session.”