Steyning Grammar School’s Sixth Form College Class of 2015, Year 13 leavers celebrated their formal Prize Giving Dinner at Avisford Park Hotel, near Arundel on the evening of June 25.
The evening was attended by 230 sixth formers, along with learning mentors, teachers, boarding staff members of the school management team and governors. Our Year 13 have been a wonderfully cohesive and supportive year group, forging strong friendships and positive experiences as they have developed and demonstrated the skills they will need to be successful in the 21st century.
Students arrived looking magnificent in their formal attire. They were greeted by Head Teacher, Mr Nick Wergan, Deputy Head, Mr Dom Kenrick and the Director of the Sixth Form College and Assistant Head, Mrs Sally Randall. Guest of honour this year was retiring Deputy Head since 2007, Mr John Young accompanied by his wife, Lesley. Students enjoyed a glass of Pimms before photographs were taken in the grounds.
The evening’s formal proceedings began with prizes in the form of book tokens which were awarded to students in recognition of their approach to learning as positive, independent and engaged young people. The prizes were presented by Mr Young and Mr Wergan. Students were also recognised for their contribution to the wider life of the School. Emma Waldron and Max Bateman received recognition for overcoming significant difficulties during their academic careers, showing perseverance and determination to succeed in the form of the prestigious Millennium Trust Award presented by Trustee, Mrs Sue Gearing. These students have continued to sparkle, showing undoubted courage and endeavour to be the best they can be despite personal setbacks.
Other Sixth Form College students received prizes for their work for their contribution to life in the Sixth Form College and life in the Boarding House. Head Boy Ross Cusdin, Head Girl Olivia Cleary, Deputy Head Girl Isabel Green, Deputy Head Boys, Will Carey and Christopher Nixon together with Head Boy of Boarding Raymond Njoku and Head Girl of Boarding Anna Donovan were awarded the Foundation Governors’ Prize for carrying out their duties superbly throughout the year. We continue to be grateful to the Foundation Governors, Friends of Steyning Grammar School, and the Rotary Club of Storrington, together with the Chanctonbury Lions Club, and many other local companies for their generous support in sponsoring these awards. Our students were delighted to have their efforts recognised and celebrated, and staff welcomed the opportunity to pay tribute to so many talented individuals.
Many students thanked their teachers for the help and guidance they had received during their A level and IB studies. Head Boy, Head Girl and their Deputies together with the Head Boy and Girl of Boarding, delivered an entertaining farewell speech and spoke for all our sixth formers when they said that they would miss the school and would be eternally grateful for the guidance given during their time in the Sixth Form College. Students expressed their thanks to the Sixth Form Management Team and Sixth Form College Admin support staff. Mrs Randall shared her sadness at having to say goodbye to such a dynamic, enthusiastic and caring group of students. Students leave the Sixth Form College with fond memories and strong lasting friendships. She ended her speech with; “Its never to late too to be whoever you want to be, there’s no time limit, you can change or stay the same. We hope that you will go on to see things that startle you, hope you feel things you never felt before, hope you meet people with a different point of view, hope that you have a life that your are proud of, if you are not, I hope that you have the courage to start again. Step confidently into the next stage of your lives and never forget that you will always be part of the Steyning Family.”
Mrs Randall spoke warmly of the lasting memories of students and staff that will all miss the enormous contribution made by Mr Young in co-ordinating the smooth running of so many structures needed to support and guide over 2000 leaners. Y13 presented Mr Young with an experience flight over the Sussex coast taking in many of the sites where he has led geography fieldwork.
Mr Wergan thanked the students for their achievements and commitment to the school ethos: “We ask for the highest expectations – and you have given us that”. He set them 3 challenges to show the success criteria for the school have been met – to use their grit and resilience to never give up, to seek out meaningful happiness, and to seize life by the collar and take advantage of every opportunity, quoting Maya Angelou: “My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.”
Finally, Mr Wergan and Mr Young brought the formal proceedings to a close with a toast to the class of 2015. A three-course dinner followed and the evening’s celebrations continued with a disco until midnight.
Report and pictures contributed by Steyning Grammar School.