Charlie Dark visits INA Sixth Form

Charlie Dark


On Tuesday 21st November 2017, INA welcomed Charlie Dark who spoke to our Year 12 students as part of our Speakers’ Programme. Charlie is a DJ, Producer, Poet, Teacher, Night-runner, Founder of Run Dem Crew and Brand Consultant with a wide range of skills and interests. Given his background, he could have talked to the Sixth Form about any number of topics, but in the end his chosen topic was ‘encouragement’.

Charlie spoke of how certain demands and expectations can make us feel pressurised sometimes, but these high expectations should not be seen as negative as it allows us to challenge ourselves and ‘raise our game’.

“Isaac Newton is a really amazing school. I have spent a lot of time visiting different schools around the UK, and I like the sense of professionalism and calm in this school. It is always nice to talk to young people and hopefully the barrage of information that I said to them will resonate with some of them and I would love to come back to INA in the future.” Charlie Dark

Charlie shared the below advice with our students:

  • It is important to encourage each other - we all need encouragement and, as we get older, we tend to receive it less.
  • It is important to have people around us who will tell us the truth.
  • We should never let ourselves be defined by the culture we come from or the place we grew up.
  • You need to work hard – there are no short cuts.
  • Teachers are important.
  • Keep a diary. That way you will have a record of where you have been so you can see how far you have come.
  • Read books that could change your life (Charlie’s life changing book was JD Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’).
  • Learn how to save. Charlie was advised to save £1 a week when he was younger, but today, he would recommend £2 as a more appropriate amount.
  • You are more powerful as a collective than an individual, so learn to collaborate and skill-share.
  • Always be nice to everyone – including cleaners.
  • When you reach your 100th birthday, what do you want to be remembered for?
  • Find a form of exercise you enjoy (in his case, running) and keep pursuing it so you stay healthy as you age.

Feizan and Aiyasha, Year 12 students, said “Although Charlie has had many challenges throughout his life, he has always found ways to overcome his problems. He spoke with passion and humour and gave advice which the students found really useful and could related to.”

Charlie was funny and inspirational and we look forward to welcoming him back to INA in the near future.


About the INA Speakers’ Programme

At Isaac Newton Academy our aim is to equip students with the knowledge, learning power and character necessary for success at university and beyond. The Speakers’ Programme will support the mission as a mechanism to:

  • Inspire our students through hearing about the journey taken by the speaker to their current role.
  • Understand the roles that BRIDGES characteristics play in lifelong success.
  • Develop a curiosity and openness around professions and cultural experiences that might not sit with their chosen KS5 subjects.
  • Learn more about universities, different careers or new topics.