Courageous Small Heath pupil sitting GCSEs while battling cancer praised by school leaders
A Small Heath Leadership Academy pupil, who has battled cancer for two years, has been commended for her bravery and determination to succeed despite her illness.
Year 11 pupil Ramlah, 16, was nominated for the multi-academy trust’s Star Letters recognition scheme by her Head of Year. The scheme celebrates the outstanding achievements of pupils and employees of Star Academies, and those who have overcome challenging personal circumstances.
Ramlah was one of the first Star Letter recipients in the country. The Year 11 pupil was presented with her Star Letter, a personal letter of thanks from the Star Academies Chief Executive, along with a certificate of achievement by the Principal of Small Heath Leadership Academy, Enass Al-Ani.
Ramlah was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and, since then, has undergone numerous surgeries and chemotherapy but has remained an enthusiastic and active member of the school community.
She was the first pupil to volunteer as a Peer Mentor to younger students in Years 7, 8 and 9 by helping them with their reading and behaviour.
She is set to take her GCSE exams this month and has managed to attend all extra-curricular revision sessions before and after school, as well as at weekends, in order to ensure she gets the best possible grades.
Ramlah spoke about her experience: “Although some days have been extremely difficult to manage I have found school to be an excellent way to distract myself from the symptoms of the illness.
“I really enjoyed helping the younger students with reading and behaviour; this was an opportunity to focus on other people and not just what I was going through. I needed to come to school to be with my friends and all the staff have been very supportive”.
Mr Smith, Head of Year 11 and Pastoral Leader, nominated Ramlah for the Star Letter. He said: “This is an outstanding achievement by Ramlah considering everything that she has gone through. She is a valuable member of the Year 11 team and I admire her courage and tenacity. She has maintained her enthusiasm for school and is working hard”.
Enass Al-Ani, Principal at Small Heath Leadership Academy, said, “In spite of everything that she has been through, Ramlah remains a fantastic ambassador for our STAR values of Service, Teamwork, Ambition and Respect, as well as showing real fighting spirit and bravery.
“Ramlah makes a valuable contribution to our school community. She has so much energy and leads by example.”
Mufti Hamid Patel CBE, Chief Executive of Star Academies, said: “I am incredibly impressed with Ramlah’s resilience, courage and resolve. She is an outstanding role model for others.
“She has been through some incredibly challenging times over the past two years and it has been very difficult for her to focus on her studies while undergoing surgery and treatment.
“In spite of everything she has endured, Ramlah has shown remarkable tenacity. Her excellent conduct and optimistic outlook are an inspiration to others and she is truly a credit to the school.
“She is an exceptional young woman who clearly has a lot to give and an impact to make.”
In receiving the Star Letter award, Ramlah has become one of the first in the country to be gifted with the accolade.