Last night I went along to the year 13 (Upper Sixth) Leavers’ Ball at the Beacon. I insist on calling it a ‘Ball’, even though young people refer to it increasingly as a ‘Prom’ – too American for me! It was a lovely occasion on a balmy summer’s evening. It struck me how much difference the two years of the sixth form makes to young people’s maturity – having earlier been to the parallel year 11 occasion, the sixth formers were incredibly mature, poised, elegant and confident. I think there is something really special about having a formal occasion of this sort, and it will certainly help those who have not experienced this kind of event in the past to feel comfortable at formal events as young adults in the future. It is that last little bit of support for personal development in a secure context we can offer.
There were lots of emotional good-byes at the end of the evening – another amazing feature of school life is that in the same week we take in our stride 10 year olds coming in to secondary school for the first time, and 18 year olds leaving their school days behind them – in a spirit of nostalgic celebration. All good wishes to all of them for the future.