Holding back the tears as our Year 11 students leave us for the final time today, we take stock of a wonderful five years with them, looking back over the successes and memories it is a premature end to an enjoyable time with them as part of #teamtmws. Mr Warner has composed a very special letter to year 11 which we include below.
We wish them all the very best and look forward to seeing their success continue.
Dear Year 11
Even a couple of weeks ago nobody could have predicted that your exams would be cancelled and tomorrow (and tomorrow, and tomorrow) would be your last day. But fair is foul and foul is fair and what’s done is done. The truth is that now we all have to do our bit to ensure we protect those who suffer greatly at this present time. That is a step on which we must fall down or else o’erleap.
Remember – we are all responsible for each other. You may have to be as solitary as an oyster over the next few months in some respects, but you’re all still members of one body. We’ll all be watching the same news in different houses while our souls tap out messages across the icy miles.
The whole world is having to change the way it operates and everyone is making sacrifices. As a cohort of people who share a birthday between 1 September 2003 and 31 August 2004, there is probably no other demographic group which is sacrificing what you are. You’ve worked so hard for these exams and for the lovely time that comes after it and to have that taken away is a lesson taught in fire and blood and anguish. You’ll always remember the fact that you were the year that didn’t get to take your exams and have your chance to shine. But don’t worry – you will still get your fizzy, movie tomorrows.
You have to remember that none of what you have done over the last five years is wasted. All the knowledge and skills you’ve developed and the experiences that you have had have shaped you, and fired your irresolute clay to make you the amazing individuals you are. Your exams would have been a tiny snapshot moment in time of a tiny fraction of what you really are, like one leaf in the still air.
When you are going through tough times in the future you will reflect on your position and may decide that to turn back were as tedious as to go o’er, and as the berries redden up to Christmas time, you’ll all be embarking on the next stage of your careers with a great education behind you that will allow you to achieve whatever you want to do, set free into a wilderness, towards a hatch that opens onto an endless sky.
In the end, life isn’t about numbers, it’s about stories. It’s a tale told by an idiot. Grades are important, but really, it’s about the stories we tell each other to strengthen our memories and our sense of community. You would have achieved amazing grades and we’ll make sure you still get those grades. But all the stuff you have learnt here has shaped the wonderful adults you have become. We don’t just teach you the curriculum to get your grades – we teach you that stuff because you have a human right to know it and because it’s your heritage and your future and because we want you to be the best you can be.
Eighteen years, almost to the day, you’ll be telling your kids that you were THAT year group.
I had not thought it would be like this, but come what come may. And (more or less) in the words of Tiny Tim: God bless you, every one!