Facebook Twitter Instagram

Motivational Speakers Deliver A Boost To Students Facing Their GCSE Exams

Jasper Ward and Jeremy Dry from ‘Maximise Your Potential’ deliver a motivational study skills seminar to Tollbar Academy Year 11 GCSE students.



Drawing on the inspirational stories of sportsmen, former prime ministers entrepreneurs and ordinary people who have achieved extraordinary things, two motivational speakers held Tollbar Academy Year 11 students spellbound as they encouraged them to be the best they can possibly be.

The GCSE students were given a plethora of ideas, which included exam tips and simple common sense ways of getting the best out of their revision sessions in the lead up to their exams this summer.

The speakers included Jeremy Dry, an award-winning former BBC reporter who has met with some of the world’s most recognisable faces, including Muhammad Ali and Sir Richard Branson. He set up ‘Maximise Your Potential’ 20 years ago to inspire young people to understand the benefits of good study practice, and the most effective ways to revise and tackle exams, but he also wanted to encourage resilience, a readiness to learn from failure, and a ‘can-do’ attitude’.

He was joined at Tollbar Academy by Jasper Ward, who joined the 'Maximize' team back in 2014, having previously been a secondary school teacher and a musician.  As a teacher, Jasper earned a reputation for his innovative and creative strategies and, whilst at the Chafford  School in Rainham, he taught the highest achieving class in the history of the school, with his students achieving 22 A* grades and 6 A grades.  

As well as achieving academically, Jasper is passionate about students' mental health and well-being. He believes hugely in the power of education to transform the lives of young people, and in 2014, he devised and directed 'England's One' project, which brought together over 7,000 children from schools across the country to perform a song for the 2014 World Cup, with money raised going to Cancer Research.

For more than an hour and half the speakers talked passionately about how to succeed in all areas of life, and about the need to learn from failure and to use that to go on to even greater success. They gave examples such as Sir Richard Branson who, as a remarkable leader and chairman of more than 400 companies, is also a philanthropist, investor and business magnate. Yet Sir Richard is dyslexic and at school was placed in the bottom set for both Maths and English.

In an interview with Jeremy Dry, Branson is reported to have said: “Each time people fail normal human beings get really emotional. But my mum told me you will learn more from when you get it wrong than you will ever ever learn from the times you succeed. That is what makes you fight for it.”

Jeremy said: “That is what makes Richard Branson invincible, he does not look at it as failure but as an opportunity to do better. You too have to push yourselves and don’t ever be frightened to get out of your comfort zone.”

Jasper Ward told students: “Education is the key to your future. Nothing at this stage is set in stone and you can look at your target grades as a guide but don’t be defined by these things. Shoot for the gate, put in the effort and aim higher. Aim for that extra mark, that next grade. Aim high.

“This is clearly an excellent school and you are good motivated people. But across the country there are many more nice Year 11 students who are out there waiting to steal your future. You cannot let that happen. Let’s make sure that every bit of effort that you put in this year brings you the maximum benefit.”

The speakers went on to discuss practical memory techniques, how to manage time and stress during exams, effective study and revision techniques, and how to prepare fully for the exams. 

Afterwards the students gave their thoughts on the session. Isabel Davison (16) said the motivational seminar had decreased some of her nerves about the exams and revision.

“The tips were very useful and really inspiring and the real-life examples of people who have gone on to great success despite adversity were really motivational. They made me want to work harder too.”

Will Emmerson (15) agreed. He said: “The revision tips were the best for me and I will be looking into using those to help me.”

Victoria Watts, Principal of Tollbar Academy, said: “This is a crucial time for our Year 11 students. They have a had a difficult couple years due to Covid and this year they are facing their GCSE exams. As a school we have and will continue to do everything possible to support these students to achieve their very best, and ‘Maximise Your Potential’ is very much a part of that. 

“We are very grateful to Jeremy and Jasper for delivering these sessions to the whole of Year 11, and we know from speaking with the students that they are extremely valuable in helping them to be better prepared and approach their exams in the best way possible.”



Former BBC reporter Jeremy Dry delivers ‘Maximise Your Potential’s’ motivational seminar centred around real-life examples of success, such as the rags to riches story of Muhammad Ali.

‘Impossible is Nothing,’ says motivational speaker Jasper Ward, as he encourages Year 11 GCSE students to aim high.

Tollbar Academy Year 11 GCSE students found the seminar “really inspiring”. They are: Will Emmerson (15), Oliver Axelson (15), Catherine Morley (16) and Isabel Davison (16).



Thinking Of Becoming A Teacher?

Apply Today

Tollbar Academy Interim Principal

Victoria Watts
Top