Former Student and Celebrity, Dr Ranj, Visits The Gordon Children’s Academy!

April 21, 2022 09:55am

Dr Ranj’s visit, the first time he had returned to Gordon since being a pupil here in the 1980s, was a wonderful opportunity for our children, who loved hearing about Dr Ranj’s time at Gordon, how his career developed, his new book, and even his time as a Cbeebies presenter! Our Year 3 children listened in awe as Dr Ranj recalled growing up on Gordon Road, and developing from a shy child who didn’t know what he wanted to be, into a confident, driven young man at medical school. 

Dr Ranj also shared an excerpt with our children from his brand new book, Brain Power; our pupils were fascinated to hear all about the brain, and to link his ideas about memory and knowledge to their own Thinking Tools and Habits of Mind. Dr Ranj’s talk was truly inspiring, and members of our Pupil Parliament followed his speech with a range of insightful questions, such as ‘Who was your idol growing up?’ and ‘What was your favourite subject at school?’

Our children were given the chance to order a copy of Dr Ranj’s Brain Power, as well as his 2021 book ‘How to Grow Up and Feel Amazing’ and 2020 picture book ‘Superhero Like You’, and to have their books signed by Dr Ranj himself during his visit! This was such an exciting opportunity for our children, many of whom were utterly star-struck at meeting such an inspiring and high-profile figure who had grown up to be a true Gordon Great.

As if Dr Ranj’s visit wasn’t exciting enough for our children, we were also visited by camera crews from ITV Meridian and BBC South East, who took footage from the day which later featured on TV! Some of our children were even interviewed, and spoke so brilliantly on camera about the impact Dr Ranj’s visit had had on them.

Following his talk and exciting book-signing session, Dr Ranj explored the corridors of our school, reminiscing about his time as a pupil here and admiring our brilliant display boards.

“I’m absolutely honoured to have been invited to my primary school,” said Dr Ranj. “It felt so strange to walk through those doors as an adult. I was just a little boy the last time I was there, so to come back as a grown up is something very special indeed.”

Special thanks to our Assistant Headteacher, Miss Kemp, for organising Dr Ranj’s visit.

“Our children, parents and staff were so excited when we announced Dr Ranj would be coming to speak to our children and sign some copies of his book. As a Thinking School, we value any opportunity to teach our children about the importance of looking after their brains and exploring their full potential. Dr Ranj’s book works well alongside our Thinking philosophy of teaching our children to become lifelong learners and developing their best habits for success in life.

Dr Ranj’s visit to us has been an absolute joy for everyone. He was so inspirational and I know from talking to some of our children following his visit, they want to follow in his footsteps and be successful doctors, authors and television presenters. Thank you Dr Ranj for visiting us to share your experiences and help our children to recognise how amazing they are. It is a day they will never forget, and neither will the staff!” said Miss Kemp.

“Our mission at the Thinking Schools Academy Trust is to ‘Transform Life Chances’ for all of our children through our cognitive approach to education. We use thinking tools to help our students understand how they learn and how to process their thinking which supports them to be their best self and achieve success. Dr Ranj’s visit to our school has been brilliant in highlighting both our approach to education but also in ensuring that children believe that they can be whoever they choose to be,” said Jody Murphy, our Director of Education.

Thank you to Dr Ranj and his team for taking time out of their busy schedules to come to our school; his visit was an incredible opportunity for our children, and it was so inspiring for them to hear from an ex-student at Gordon who worked hard and has made a real success of his career. Dr Ranj’s final message to our children was to ‘Dream Big, Work Hard and Be Kind’, a pearl of wisdom we’re sure they will cherish forever.