The History of the MELHC Slogan
The History of the Millfield English Language Holiday Courses (MELHC) Slogan
by Director of Holiday Courses and Events, Mark Greenow
2003 Get Involved
My first year was 2001 when I was a teacher. In 2002 I took over as Director and started to try and build a team. To motivate the staff I was constantly trying to get them involved with the students at events. Teaching them what I had learned on many previous summer schools that the more they gave the students the more they would get back and the more rewarding the experience would be for everybody. Apparently, I said this a lot and it became a “thing”! So much so that we used it as our first ever slogan the next year. I have been lucky to work ever since with dedicated inspirational staff.
2004 Where The Fun Never Stops
2005 100% Fun
In the early years we were growing, and I was trying to emphasise the fun elements of the school hence these slogans. I believed then and now that people learn a lot better when they are having fun both in and outside the classroom.
2006 Work Hard, Play Harder
In 2006 I took a look at the school motto “Molire Molendo”. My Latin is not very good but I think a modern translation might be something like “Success by Grinding” - I didn’t think that would work. A modern take on it being used around the school at the time was work hard, play hard so I just gave that a little summer school twist.
2007 Live The Dream
2008 Making It Happen
I can’t remember the exact source (it could be anywhere and anybody and thank you to all of the many who have contributed over the years) of these slogans but I do remember that the search was becoming harder and harder every year. One of these two years I remember I was in a pub with some of the senior staff and I told them they couldn’t leave until they came up with that year’s slogan. Looking back I do think they could have done it a bit quicker! In those days we used to give every student a fantastic DVD of their stay as a souvenir filmed by the Millfield legend Jeff Holmes. The Slogan was a big part of the branding of the year and was on all the films. It was so nice to revisit those films when I played them at the 2017 and 2018 Legends Ceremonies. I explained to all current students that anybody on those films who was 16 is now 26. Then the invited Legends talked about what Millfield meant to them and what they have gone on to do since. Emotional stuff for me.
2009 Enjoy The Experience
In 2009 we got lucky. As part of our bid for a team for the 2012 London Olympics (we got Russian Swimming) we were given a fantastic and huge decal for the front window of our swimming pool. In the middle it said “Enjoy the Experience”. Instant slogan and a great welcome to all our students that year (and for a few years after).
2010 Millfield Rocks
The next year was easy too, it was the second year of what has become our annual rock festival. It poured with rain for the second year in a row (it hasn’t rained since) but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of our students and staff. That year we also buried a time capsule outside Millfield House and I can’t wait to dig it back up next year.
2011 Love It!
With a little nod to McDonald’s I loved (no pun intended) the slogan of 2011 and so did the students. We have many fantastic pictures that year of groups of students making the heart sign. I often think back to that year and I still tell leaving students, to this day, to keep a little bit of Millfield in their hearts.
2012 Oh Yeah!
The next year we were struggling again and we just couldn’t get the slogan. I remember I was driving a small group of Easter students back from a ten pin bowling trip. We were having a great time in the mini-bus doing a bit of carpool karaoke. When the song stopped one of the students just pushed his cap back and said something and I looked at MELHC Manager Jane who was sat beside me and we both instantly knew we had the slogan. It was another instant classic. It is really important to get the students (and staff) to “buy into” the slogan idea and we do this in many ways - through the fun teams, reward shirts, house songs etc. This one certainly rang out all over the campuses that year.
In these years I was trying to reference the scale and size of what we do and what it is that makes us special. Some of the events we put on when the schools come together (Three Schools One Family) are truly amazing. All the time we are trying to engineer events where transformational learning can take place and many other times of course, if the environment is right, these just happen naturally. We are creating an atmosphere where curiosity can be sparked and real learning can take place. This “process” is where the magic is for me.
2015 4Ever Millfield
Then I started getting nostalgic in my old age. I was trying to show that this is not just a summer school but part of a life long journey and something that the students (and staff) will carry with them for the rest of their lives. The connection with the slogan and with the message I want to get across to the staff and students in my speeches and through the management teams is vitally important.
2016 Making Memories
I loved the One Direction song “History” and I wanted to use it as my theme song that year. For a long time I had the slogan in my head as “Making History” but deep down I knew it wasn’t quite right. At the last moment we made a slight change and the rest was history as they say. We always look for a big surprise finish to each season and over the years we have tried everything from hot air balloons to Beyonce’s Laser Show. This year every student wrote down their favourite memory of the summer and they each sent it up in the air attached to an (eco friendly) balloon. It looked amazing.
2017 Cool School
This one really worked too. The shirts looked great with the sunglasses (eternally optimistic about the British weather) on the slogan. Through this one I was able to emphasise my attitude to learning on a summer school and our truly holistic approach. It is about life and life-long learning in a fully immersive environment. Who wants to go to school in the summer? Just ask our many returners and Five Year Club (record holder Alvaro Lucena 60 weeks).
2018 Better Together
Last year it wasn’t quite coming either. Eventually I went back to a video I absolutely loved and that I used a lot on marketing trips. Caitlin, one of our English Mentors at the time sang the song beautifully and the video really captured the essence of what we are about. (You can watch the video here.) Old friends coming back together and new friendships being formed. Everybody knows I love tears! When the children cry (when they leave!) I know we have done our job. If there is one thing I am sure about after all these years it is that, the best way to learn a language is to make a friend. This year was also our 18th Birthday and a lot of cake was eaten.
I am really proud of the slogan and I believe the new one every year is something that is unique to us. It gives us something to hang every year on and something that helps build atmosphere, friendship, tolerance and pride. Looking back I can see the slogans bestride everything we do and everything we believe in.
And now for the 2019 slogan...
This year I had great fun putting every slogan into my introduction to the 2019 brochure. I also put in this year's slogan and a few red herrings (Advanced English Test). This year I go back to one I have had on the back burner (Advanced English Test) for a few years (thank you Rhys Thomas). I heard recently that the happiest times of your life are when you are a child/teenager or when you are in healthy early retirement. In the middle is something called work and life! I want all of our young learners to realise that this is a great time for them. A time for exploration, learning, friendship, enjoyment and wonder. And when I retire I know I will have many fond memories of all the experiences shared along the way.
2019... Happy Days!
Added: 27th February 2019