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Upper Sixth Leavers Celebration and Valedictory Service

This month we said farewell to our Upper Sixth pupils as they headed off on study leave to prepare for their final A Level examinations.

On Thursday 11 May, a fun day was organised by the Sixth Form Team which involved a final assembly in the Theatre. Here, the pupils watched a photo montage of their leavers’ photos, accompanied by some songs from Mr Barron’s (Assistant Head, Sixth Form) music collection.  

The photos were interspersed with farewell poems, which created an emotional final assembly that ended with the pupils receiving their leavers’ hoodies. This was followed up with a barbecue by the cricket pavilion, where the pupils were treated to delicious food, better and more contemporary music, games and bouncy castles.  

On Friday 12 May, the Upper Sixth Valedictory Service and Celebration took place. It was a fantastic occasion and a fitting celebration of our pupils’ time at Mill Hill. The day started with a final Chapel service in the Chapel. We enjoyed readings from the Senior Monitors and Heads of House. In addition, everyone took part in lots of uplifting singing which was made more poignant by the accompaniment from the School Choir. Next, Housemasters and Housemistresses read out their leavers’ names, which brought the proceedings to an emotional close.  

The pupils then joined their parents outside the Sixth Form Centre on the Stoa for refreshments and delicious treats before heading down to the Sports Hall for the final Valedictory Celebration. Noah E (Winfield House) started proceedings with a quote from Little Gidding by T.S. Elliot, followed by the Welcome from Mrs Sanchez in her final Valedictory Celebration.

The teachers said farewell to the pupils via a video montage to the words of ‘if‘ by Rudyard Kipling and Mr Cambridge (Teacher of Religious Studies) and Mrs McKay (Head of Psychology) read ‘Desiderata’ by May Ehrman, with the pupils appreciating the significance of the advice crafted by the words from both readings.  

Upper Sixth pupil Yassin A (Priestley House) sang an incredibly powerful rendition of Stars from Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boubilil during the final musical performance of the day. In addition, Senior Monitors Maeve A (Atkinson House), Edward O (Priestley House) and Sisi W (Collinson House) gave their final speeches of memories from their time in The Foundation, which were a fantastic homage to their time at the School.  

Mr Barron finished the Celebration with an emotional speech written for the leavers, which bravely included a poem he had written to the year group. Without a dry in the house, pupils and parents made their way up to Top Terrace for the symbolic release of the doves and a final farewell from Mrs Sanchez (Head). However, Mrs Sanchez had one last trick up her sleeve.

All the leavers were given an envelope with instructions on when to open it, and a flash mob was instantly created to sing a rousing version of the Toreador’s song (from Carmen by Bizet) accompanied by the very talented Rodney Earl Clarke and Mr Kyle (Director of Musical Performance). The pupils and parents enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, with further refreshments and a delicious buffet lunch, as the pupils gathered farewell comments in their leavers’ yearbook.

We wish our Upper Sixth the best of luck in their examinations and in securing their chosen university course and institution, and it seems fitting to finish with the words that Noah read out at the end of the celebration What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”  

Mr Barron
Assistant Head (Sixth Form)