Today we have said “farewell” to the Year 13 and Year 11 Class of 2023 as they both head off for study leave around their exams.
The journey of these young people through education has been disrupted on an unprecedented scale by the global pandemic. Although those lockdown days are already fading into memory, it’s important to remember that Year 13 did not sit GCSE exams, as they were cancelled due to COVID. Both these year groups undertook a significant proportion of their secondary education remotely. Whilst many of them continue to feel the impact of this disruption, their resilience and determination is to their huge credit.
It is also a challenging world that these young people are inheriting. The cost of living crisis, war in Ukraine, political and economic instability and uncertainty, and climate change have an impact on all of us – and that’s only scratching the surface. But our mission at Churchill is to empower and enable our young people to make a positive difference, and – looking at the young adults in the class of 2023 – I feel very hopeful and optimistic about the future. If anyone can make that positive difference, it is them.
I would like to pay tribute to all those who have supported the class of 2023 on their journey. Their families and friends, and the staff at the Academy, have all helped to shape these young people and guide them on their way. But ultimately it is the students themselves that deserve the credit: their hard work, their kindness, curiosity and determination have enabled them to overcome the barriers in their way and achieve all that they have so far – and this will continue to carry them forward into the future. We’re proud of them: they should be proud of themselves.