So long, farewell! Class of 2015 say goodbye in emotional Leavers Assembly

We can’t quite believe this day has arrived but, five years after they first walked through the doors of their brand new school, fresh faced and full of excitement, it was time to say goodbye to our wonderful Year 11s. Our Founder Year have been an absolute pleasure for us to teach and to steer through this important phase of their lives; we hope we have instilled in each of them the importance of our core values and, of course, Civitas in all they do.  

Mrs Smith said, ‘It has been a privilege to be your Principal – you have been truly a vintage year!’

We spoke to our graduates after their special Founders Leavers assembly to reminisce about their time at Ark Academy and ask what they will take from their experience….

What is it like looking back at the past 5 years?

Maaryah: 'I wasn’t as emotional as I was expecting to be but looking at the video montages did make me get emotional and made me think, ‘Wow I have done a lot over all this time’.

Shivani: 'I was an ugly little 12 year old! I had a unibrow, a too big smile, everything haha. It’s so funny seeing how different we look. But you realise that you’ve done so much in 5 years and you didn’t realise it was actually 5 whole years that had gone by, it has gone so fast!'

What was the assembly like?

Keliesha: 'It was very touching. The assembly made me cry but it was embarrassing having to look at the younger me – it just felt a bit weird!'

Sharlicia: 'I think it was a good performance of ‘So long, farewell’ from The Sound of Music that we did in our pyjamas.

The assembly was quite heartfelt; you really saw that the teachers expressed how they felt about these last years which is so different because they never did that before.

So it was nice to see how they reacted and they said they were proud of us, which they don’t usually admit.'

She was especially surprised that they have a sense of humour…..

‘They were funny. I didn’t even know that Mr Dainty was that funny! He had a little speech where he was explaining to us how we’re going to be good parents and stuff so I really didn’t expect that from him.’

What stuck out about the assembly?

Sonal: ‘Taking selfies with all the teachers – they were so cute, they actually posed!

Miss Patel and Miss Geary got the most emotional. You actually realise this is the end and you won’t be able to ever be in Year 11 again, so that’s a bit sad.’

Favourite Lasting Memories?

Shivani: 'The football match! We went to a football match in Year 7 when we got good results in maths and I completely forgot about that so the pictures reminded me how amazing it was.'

Sharlicia: 'Our 1st ever Kingswood trip – our first ever trip as a whole year. It brought back memories of us all being together, first meeting people you didn’t know, it was a nice experience.'

Keliesha: 'Most of the stuff we’d done, I actually forgot that we’d done it. Like the swingy thing at Kingswood I completely forgot I did it! And all the pictures that we took there, it was so much fun looking back at it.'

What do you feel the teachers have brought to your lives?

Shaniqua:  'My teachers taught me how to stay calm in situations, they taught me that in order to work hard and keep on going.

They really emphasized resilience and it helped me so much.'

Sonal: 'I’ve become way more confident with all the support that they’ve given me.

My grades have improved drastically because of Ark.I feel much more capable of doing anything I want because of the way it has shaped my future.'

Where do you think you would be if you hadn’t come to Ark Academy?

Shaniqua: 'I think I would be failing my GCSEs. I don’t think I would be as focused or pay attention as much, I’d probably just be like ‘Yeah I can do whatever and it’s fine’ and be casual about my homework.'

And finally, in advice to our younger students,  Haider explained the benefits of keeping an open mind:

‘You’re not going to do what you think you’re going to do from the start; as school life goes on, your life is going to change as well.

At the beginning I didn’t think I’d be able to do an English based subject but now after being here, I want to become a lawyer and choose English for A level, which at the start of Year 7 I never thought I would do.'

It is not all work and no play, your peers make your experience all the more fulfilling, as Haider confirms: 

‘Our social life in school is fun as well – I’ve made some good friends who I never thought I’d make so it has been a great time!’

We thank all of our Year 11s for being a phenomenal cohort and wish them every success both in their exams and futures.