This is not at all how any of us expected today would be. I look forward very much to the Y13 Leavers Mass every year and hopefully, we can still celebrate at a later date. It’s different from every other celebration that we have at English Martyrs because this really is the end of your school and college life. You all come in dressed smart, there’s great excitement and sheer joy and the rest of the school look at you all in amazement – what a great example you set them on a day like today.
What lies ahead of you is a big wide world with abundant opportunity. It may not feel like that right now with so much uncertainty. You’re probably enjoying the free time and for some, not sitting your exams is a huge relief. For others, there may be worry, anxiety and bewilderment. In the words of scripture, I encourage you, do not be afraid.
Like I said to Year 11, your results do not define you, there is a plan for your life, you will still achieve great and wonderful things. For now – we have to live with this pandemic, but please be kind and gentle to yourself. There is lots of help out there if you need it and people to talk to. Please access that help if it’s something you feel you could benefit from.
The Gospel below is taken from today’s Mass, and the words couldn’t be more fitting. I wish that today, you could celebrate with your friends, that you could be laughing with each other and making those memories. Maybe today you can do that with your families. May this little reflection that we have put together bring you some joy. Some of the teacher comments are sure to make you laugh.
Never give up hope. Nobody can take your joy, your faith or your hope so take consolation in those today.
Know of my prayers for you all, please stay in touch. Thank you for being part of my journey for the last 2/7 years. May God’s blessing be upon all of you in abundance today and always.
‘I tell you solemnly, you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice;
you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.
in her joy that a man has been born into the world.
and that joy, no one shall take that from you.
may they continue to be strong and supportive especially during this difficult time.
we pray for our futures.
may we be successful, brave, loving and kind.
and the people around us.
Dream your dreams well.
I was nervous to start my time at EMS in Year 12 as the “new girl”, scared that I wouldn’t be able to make any friends. However, students and teachers made me feel a part of the EMS community. I don’t think I have ever laughed and smiled so much despite the revision and exam stress that A-levels bring. Although college was stressful at times, it was a place where unforgettable memories and friendships were made. Despite the Coronavirus cutting our college experience short, this past year and a half has been fun and full of joy. I hope everyone gets the grades they deserve and the university place they have put so much hard work and effort into. Good luck for the future.
Teacher/tutor comments follow – most of these will be in the Yearbook so if you don’t want to ruin the surprise then don’t read on.
Dearest Year 13,
It seems like only yesterday that you were all eagerly signing up to become a part of English Martyrs; the time really has flown by and I am so glad that you decided to continue your education with us. One aspect of my job that I find the most rewarding is seeing people like you develop into wonderful young adults who are ready for the next step of their journey. College is about achieving the grades to take those next steps, but it is also about embracing your own personal development and becoming who you want to be. You really are a unique and talented bunch, not just in terms of exams and results, but in terms of your artistic, dramatic and sporting gifts as well as your charitable mind-sets. Never lose sight of these abilities because they are part of who you are.
However, perhaps the one thing I admire you most for, Year 13, is the fact that you have sat and listened to Mr Roberts’ random stories and even, in most cases, pretended to look interested. The ability to remain awake, look like you’re listening and actually be asleep, all at the same time, is a skill that I am sure many of you will have plenty of time to practise more during your time at university, in your apprenticeship or when you finally secure a real job! Well done on making a great start!
I need to tell you that everything I have done is because I genuinely want you to be the best that you can be – I really do believe that you will all go on to achieve great things. In the future, as in the past, there will be times when you just feel like giving up. Well, you made it this far Year 13 so don’t ever set your dreams aside.
Wishing you all lots of luck and happiness,
Mrs Hogarth x
Head of Year Lockdown Leavers’ Reflection
Year 13 Leavers’ Mass is our opportunity to press pause and take the opportunity to celebrate your time at the college and think about the journey we have all taken since walking into college on the first day of year 12. However, this year the country stands still together and now more than ever we have been given time to stop, reflect and be with some of the most important people in our lives; really letting us appreciate the moments in life that truly matter.
Being your Head of Year has been ace because every day I get to laugh. There have been countless humorous moments; from awful singing and dancing in the common room to hilarious banter. It has been a pleasure seeing such a determined and talented bunch, all of whom have great futures ahead.
Yes it is not the way any of us wanted the year to finish, but none of you will ever forget this time. With hope and commitment we will get through this and it will be a moment in your life that in one way or another shapes you as a person.
I look forward to when we can all meet up as a year group, so this is not ‘good bye’ but ‘see you in a bit’.
Take care and stay safe, not just now, but always,
It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you all and see you grow into the fabulous young people you have become! I had the privilege of teaching a number of you while in school and then been able to work with some of you in the Sixth Form as your tutor. One thing that stands out for me about you all is your sense of comradery and friendship. You are a great group of young people who work so well together and for each other- this should never be underestimated! Writing this message seems very strange because you didn’t get the send off you all deserved- but remember ‘you never really leave English Martyrs’- do come back and see us all and let us know how you are doing! Leaving English Martyrs is just the end of the current chapter of your life- but don’t underestimate how much of an impact your time here will have on you as you move forward. You will have made some fantastic friends and memories here, which will be with you on your journey through life. Now go, life your life to the full, shine as a light in the dark places and make a difference in the world – you are amazing!
With all my best wishes.
I hope you are all well and safe. For some of you I have had the pleasure of not only being your tutor, but teaching you for four years and have watched you mature into conscientious, intelligent, bright young women. All ready to start your journey onto university or apprenticeship and I am really proud to have played a part in that journey. It is upsetting that we did not get the opportunity to say goodbye properly.
I remember all of you in my classroom on that last morning and I’m so happy we got the chance to chat before you all left. I have really enjoyed teaching you all and am sure that you will all go onto to have fantastic careers and for most of you that is in the NHS or teaching. And we have all seen in last few months how valuable these careers are in today’s society.
Please stay safe and keep in touch.
Dear Year 13,
It has been great to be your tutor. I have known many of you throughout your whole time school and I taught some of you for your GCSE English. You have been a wonderful group and I wish you all the very best of luck for the future. Thank you for two lovely years.
I honestly feel I have the best job in the world – I love my subject but moreover, I love working with you lot. You really are a bunch of lovely people, you are bright, kind, supportive and hardworking (mostly) you are all unique and very special in your own wonderful ways. A strong, fiery, passionate and determined group!
You bring so much to the lessons, not only your wisdom, intelligence and experience but also so much laughter….Sometimes this is deliberate, sometimes not (Katie)
The beautiful friendship between Joe and Josh is inspiring. Leaving happy meal toys for secret Santa gifts (THIS DID HAPPEN) and minute long hugs to decrease cortisol. I’m not convinced this really did reduce stress in Josh, there was no warning (or even consent) so in actual fact amounted to an assault.
Kate and Joe engaged in regular debates. During one attachment lesson, there was a big disagreement over who would be looking after the “baby” when both returned to work???!!!! It took some time, but eventually the row was diffused upon realising there was no baby and neither of you had full time jobs.
Often these debates spilled over into the common room with Keileigh against…. everyone else! What shall I wear to address Parliament today? Hmmm! Controversial!
I love that you all have such strong opinions and that you so staunchly defend your beliefs. Be proud that you have the courage of your convictions, don’t be afraid to speak out if you think something is wrong, don’t worry if your view isn’t shared. It would be boring if we all agreed all the time!
Moving on… the weather in Fiji is nice this time of year.
I like how you gave life/personalities/relationships etc. to participants in research methods papers, skills that will be of no use to you, at any point, ever, in the future.
Recently, Katie enjoyed sharing her conspiracy theories… based on some very flimsy evidence but enough to convince her of their validity! Or was it reliability Katie?
At time Lauren didn’t hear any of this as she was laughing at the noise of Hannah’s stomach rumbling! A regular occurrence…for both….
I haven’t mentioned you all but none of you will be forgotten, you have been a fabulous group, one of the best and you have left big shoes to fill!
Have fun, work hard, be happy, be kind, be you!
I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching both of my Law classes and I am going to genuinely miss you all! It has been hard work at times, for all of us (all of those cases … ouch), but then again, nothing worth doing is ever easy!! It has also been fun, you have definitely kept me on my toes! Good luck for the next chapter in your lives; follow your dreams, have lots of fun and, most of all, be happy. Don’t ever forget that determination and hard work will get you where you want to be in life! Take care, best wishes, Mrs Morton
Mrs Martindale and Mr Frettsome:
We never imagined that it would end like this, but it was always much more than an exam! It has been a pleasure to work with you for the last couple of years. We’re so proud of how far you’ve come and how you’ve developed into top Geographers! It’s a crazy world out there, but you have the skills to make sense of it. We’re sure that you’ll never forget our little trips out to glamorous locations, such as the sand dunes behind the steel works at Redcar to name just one. Thank you for all your hard work; the ability to produce a well-argued essay about the carbon cycle in under 30 minutes will prepare you for pretty much anything.
Good luck with your next steps, wherever they may take you. You have the power to change the world.
Mrs Martindale and Mr Frettsome
Parts of my original comment that I had planned do not seem appropriate now and I very much wish the circumstances were different. However, what still remains is how proud I am of you all. I know many of your career aspirations will be more valuable in today’s world than ever before and I feel privileged to have been part of your very early journey. I want to wish you the very best going forward and can’t wait to watch your journey from afar.
Miss Manning and Biology.
PS – I will never forgive you for the woodlice.
Yr 13 RS group – Its been a blast Guys! Thank you for all the fun, dedication & commitment over the past 2 years. Hope you get all you deserve in the Summer. Remember – ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’ -Socrates
Mr Dunn/Mrs Wilson/Mrs Skinner-Howe x
Mrs Skinner Howe:
Year 13 it has been a pleasure! It is hard to believe that two years have passed already and I am so sorry that it had to be cut short. You are an amazing group of committed and diligent students and I will miss each and every one of you. Your lessons have always been one of the highlights of my weeks as they are always filled with joy and smiles. And not to mention a crisis or two! So I want to thank each of you for making such a special and unique class. Thank you Josh for always going the extra mile and keeping us on our toes, Talia for always having a strong opinion and a smile, Jess for being an oasis of serenity amidst the madness, Hannah for all your positivity, Elizabeth for the cat conversations (I will remember to do my star jumps!) and Sarah for always giving us a different perspective.
I wish you all the luck in the world; I know you will succeed in whatever you choose to do. Always “let your light shine before people, that they may see your good works.” Matthew 5:15
Mrs Cordon’s English Class:
Thank you for all of your hard work over the past two years. It has been a pleasure to teach English to you all. It’s been lovely to see the progress that you have made since starting your A-Levels and we hope that you are very proud of all that you have achieved. It’s been a lovely two years, with so many great lessons and we wish you the best of luck in the future.
Mrs McDonagh 13C1
Inheriting a class in Y13 can be tricky but the chemists of 13C1 proved themselves to be a friendly, welcoming, inquiring group of young adults. You gave every a challenge a go: cramming organic practicals into an hour, being precise with curly arrows, staying awake (nearly).
I don’t believe anyone could have predicted we would end the course as we did and I shared your shock on the Thursday morning after the exams were cancelled.
As we reach your official leaving date, I will remember you with great affection for several reasons. You will potentially be my last A-Level group, we moved into the new building and we finished under such strange circumstances. I also seemed to use the phrase “Oh, I don’t know but I can find out” quite a lot and that was testimony to your inquisitive nature.
So if this was the last of the chemistry you studied or a stepping stone to more scientific studies, I wish Tom, Nyasha, Nathan, Ketan, Nicole, Brogan, Lauren, Kate, Matthew and Bettina every success and particularly great happiness.
Always remember…”Chemists find solutions!”
Hey guys, just to say it’s been a pleasure to teach you over these last two years. You were possibly the quietest group that we’ve ever had and we know that you all hated it when we put pressure on your to talk. We were, however, thankful for the days that you did talk, sometimes even by your own choice, even if those days were few and far between! The biggest pleasure for us has been to see your creativity and your desire to push yourselves to the best of your ability each and every lesson. Your knowledge and understanding has grown and despite the fact, we didn’t get to finish the course you’ve developed some outstanding skills along with the ability to see the world a little differently to what you did at the start of this course. We wish you every success for the future and would love to know how you get on. Please do keep in touch and never lose your creativity that has been a shining light throughout. You are creators so go and fill our world with your marvellous creations!
Well guys, it’s fair to say that you have entertained me relentlessly for two years and although this is not the way we thought things would finish it’s been an absolute pleasure working with you all on this course. I’ve never known a class quite like it for their ability to distract me never mind each other… what subject were we doing again? Computer Science as that sounds vaguely familiar but we’ve had some wonderful detours along the way on a multitude of topics from politics to religion and whether visiting your Grandad should be classed as a holiday when the man in question actually lives in another country! I always had to brace myself for our Kahoots wondering what usernames would be chosen each player. Jeremy Corbyn may have lost the election but he did win one of these Kahoots and I’m sure the man himself would be delighted about that. The biggest winners in the last two years, however, were each and every one of you. You faced the challenges and frustrations head-on, it’s the very nature of our subject but you overcome each of these mini battles and your resilience was outstanding to see. I’m proud of you, I’m proud of all you have done and the way in which you have conducted yourselves at every turn and I wish you all great success in the future. Oh, and if you ever have to use this symbol * in a conversational sense make sure you know how to say it!