Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from EHS

Farewell, Year 13

27 March 2020

Last week, as the Prime Minister announced plans to close all schools at the end of the day on Friday 20 March and a nation started to come to terms with what this meant, our thoughts quickly turned to pupils in Years 11 and 13. Whilst the closure impacts on all of our pupils, our most senior students are, of course, in a very unusual position. With the strange reality of the impending GCSE and A Level examinations suddenly vanished overnight they then had to come to terms with the fact that their school careers would be cut short and, for Year 13 particularly, this meant leaving their friends and the school rather abruptly and with very little time to say goodbye.

Hastily arranged plans were made to ensure Year 13 had a fitting send off on Friday. We were pleased that we were able to uphold some of our traditions such as the leavers’ breakfast and the wearing of their old school uniform for the occasion. For the girls, and staff too, it was a time of happy reflection on cherished memories throughout the years, tinged with sadness and even some anxiety as to what lies ahead. Here, some of Year 13 share their thoughts.

“Last Friday was an emotional rollercoaster for so many different reasons. For me, school has been a place of security and my second home since 2007. Friday started with the emotion ‘happy’, because school provided breakfast! This allowed us the chance to chat with members of staff about the current situation as well as memories of our time at school. Breakfast was then followed by all of us taking photos with one another and staff who have supported us throughout our time at EHS, allowing us to capture the moment at the click of a button. There were so many emotions: happiness, sorrow, confusion, disbelief, pride and gratitude. At the end of the day I was in floods of tears about the fact that, even though it is not officially the end, we have had to say a quick thank you and goodbye to teachers who have helped me though my lowest and my highest points during my time at school. At this time it made me really appreciate the amazing friends that I have around me. Through their tears they were able to talk me down and told me that it was all was going to be okay. I was reflecting that when I first joined EHS I struggled to piece together a short sentence. I then went on to get my GCSEs. That is just to name one of the things that the school has done for me. Thank you for everything, EHS.” Lydia Diwakar

“I thought it was so lovely that the school arranged something for us because obviously it’s such a horrible situation to be in and we appreciate that all the teachers were busy organising other things in preparation for the school closure and remote learning. It has made me realise just how much I love EHS, the staff and my fellow Year 13s.” Anya Avasthy 

“The last day was an incredible end to my time at EHS. I joined as a shy little 2 year old and, with the help of incredible members of staff and loyal friends, I have grown to become the confident person I am today. On Friday, I got to spend some well needed time with my best friends and was able to thank most of the members of staff who have helped me through my secondary school journey. The day was full of so many emotions during such a short period of time, starting with what EHS is so good at...food. The breakfast in the morning was a much needed time for all of us to be able to relax before a jam-packed day. Especially after lunch, there were many tears of both joy and sadness as the day was starting to end, but it was the best ending to my school career that I possibly could have asked for and I will never forget it.” Peter Howl 

“It was a bittersweet day on Friday, as we had to say our goodbyes a lot earlier than we were expecting to. However I thought it was lovely that the school was able to organise something for us at such short notice; I really think it brought everyone together at a difficult time. It has certainly enabled us to make lots of positive memories to look back on.” Mandeep Karlcut 

EHS will ensure that the girls get to have the ‘proper’ send off that they deserve and we look forward to arranging this when we return to some normality. In the meantime, we shall continue to support the girls throughout the coming months, both academically and pastorally. Year 13 you have been amazing! Not only have you been brilliant all year but at this challenging time you have epitomised resilience and championed optimism, providing mutual support and comfort to your fellow students. We are incredibly proud of you.

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