reflect on their Graduation Ball experience

Friday May 25, 2018

Students in 6.2 have been sharing their reflections on the annual Graduation Ball at Concord. As is the tradition, this was the last formal occasion for the senior students, before they leave the college and embark upon the next stage of their education.  It was a time to celebrate the success of this very talented group of young people and to reflect upon their achievements. This year’s Graduation Ball, which was attended by 270 students, teachers and staff, was held in a splendidly decorated indoor marquee in the sports hall.  The evening started with champagne cocktails followed by the prize giving and speeches, meal and disco.  Principal Mr. Neil Hawkins was the MC for the evening. Speeches were made by Head Boy Christopher, and Head Girl Melody, who both afterwards summarised their messages and their reflections of what life will be like when they leave Concord. For Melody, the Graduation Ball was particularly poignant because it marked the end of her five years of studies at the college and she chose kindness as her theme. “One of the values at Concord College is kindness.  You have to be ambitious and achieve your goals, but you have to be kind in the process and I reflected on the kindness I have received at Concord College.  I hope in the future that everyone will continue to value kindness and share it with the people around them. “Having been at Concord for so long, I think it makes you look forward to the ball a lot more.  The ball was amazing because it was a place where students, teachers and staff came together to celebrate how much 6.2 students have learnt in our time here.  The teachers felt more like friends. “It was also nice to have a night when everyone dressed up and you can have great memories and pictures to look back on of people you may not see again in the future.” Christopher, who joined Concord in the sixth form, said the speeches enabled him and Melody to ‘share our thoughts and reflections.’ He spoke about ambition and the future, telling the gathering:  “Moving on from college to university is a big step.  You are essentially an adult and the world will expect more of you.  There will be a lot more responsibility and that can be associated with mixed feelings. “It can be really scary because you are leaving a lot of comforts behind.  We have a lot of support systems here and in a sense you are pretty sheltered. “In my speech I talked about how you can overcome those daunting challenges in the future in terms of your mind set with several modes of thinking helping you to adapt to change. “Hopefully something we said will stay with our fellow students in the future.  It was our last major role and last responsibility we had to carry out.  It was nice to persuade people who were a bit hesitant to come to the ball, sit at my table and enjoy the occasion. “The Graduation Ball was one of my most memorable nights at Concord College.  The decoration was kept as a surprise and it was nice to see how much effort the school had put into it.” Lynn and Lucas were the winners of the Frank Bell Prize, the premier prize at Concord College, awarded to the boy and girl in 6.2 - but not the Head Boy or Head Girl – who have contributed most generously to the life of the college while setting high standards academically and providing an example to others. In essence the prize is awarded to the two students who best embody ‘the ethos of Concord,’ and was presented at the ball by the Chairman of Trustees Dr. Iain Bride. Of her reflections, Lynn said:  “Neither of us was expecting to be nominated let alone win the prize.  It was a surreal experience – a really nice culmination of the two years we have been at the college.  There have been so many happy experiences.” Said Lucas:  “It was a real shock, but an honour to win the prize.  Just being nominated was incredible.  Along with the prestige, we each received a gift card for Waterstones which will help to contribute towards further learning for university in the coming year.” A group of students performed their own arrangement of the traditional Celtic folk song The Parting Glass. The 6.2 academic prizewinners were: Art – Maryam; Biology – Anna; Chemistry – Anna; Chinese – Angel (Wing Hei); Economics – Mew (Satukunlasan); English – Sophie; Extended Project – Anna; French – Madeleine; Geography – Millie; History – Sophie; Maths Applied – Alice (Rong); Maths Pure – Alfie (Shilin); Music – Jeremy (Zi Yi); Physics – Michelle (Xintong); Spanish – Maria. See a selection of photographs in the Photo Library - Graduation Ball 2018.