Steyning Grammar School’s Sixth Form College Class of 2016, Year 13 leavers celebrated their formal Prize Giving Dinner at Avisford Park Hotel, near Arundel on the evening of June 30th. The evening was attended by 220 sixth formers, along with learning mentors, teachers, boarding staff, members of the school management team and governors. Our Year 13 have been a wonderfully cohesive and supportive year group, forging strong friendships and positive experiences as they have developed and demonstrated the skills they will need to be successful in the 21st century.
Students arrived looking magnificent in their formal attire. They were greeted by Headteacher, Mr Nick Wergan, Deputy Headteachers Mr Dominic Kenrick and Mrs Natasha Nicol together with the Assistant Headteacher and Head of Sixth Form College, Mrs Sally Randall. The guest of honour this year was Mr Mark Warwick, retiring Head of Religious Education and former Head of Humanities and School Chaplain of Steyning Grammar School.
The evening’s formal proceedings began with prizes in the form of book tokens which were awarded to students in recognition of their approach to learning as positive, independent and engaged young people. The prizes were presented by Mr Wergan. Students were also recognised for their contribution to the wider life of the school. Nicholas Bristow and Jamie Walter received recognition for overcoming significant difficulties during their academic careers, showing perseverance and determination to succeed in the form of the prestigious Millennium Trust Award presented by Trustee, Mr John Stevenson. In addition a special Sixth Form prize was awarded to both Jessica Spiller and James Holmes. These students have continued to sparkle, showing undoubted courage and endeavour to the best they can be despite personal setbacks.
Other Sixth Form College students received prizes for their work and for their contribution to life in the Sixth Form College and life in the Boarding House. Head Boy Samuel Wellby, Head Girl Olivia Francis, Deputy Head Girl Sophie Crossfield, Deputy Head Boy, Henry Hayward together with Head Boy of Boarding Nathan Chesney and Head Girl of Boarding Vivienne Onamusi were awarded the Foundation Governors’ Prize for carrying out their duties superbly throughout the year. We continue to be grateful to the Foundation Governors, Friends of Steyning Grammar School, and the Rotary Clubs of Steyning & Henfield and Storrington, Chanctonbury Lions Club, Wiston House, Steyning Bookshop, Steyning Herald as well as local companies Gardner, Scardifield, Fire Alarm Installations UK Ltd, Synchronicity and H J Burt Steyning for their generous support in sponsoring these awards. Our students were delighted to have their efforts recognised and celebrated, and staff welcomed the opportunity to pay tribute to so many talented individuals.
Many students thanked their teachers for the help and guidance they had received during their A level and BTEC Level 3 studies. Head Boy, Head Girl and their Deputies together with the Head Boy and Girl of Boarding, delivered an entertaining farewell speech and spoke for all our sixth formers when they said that they would miss the school and would be eternally grateful for the guidance given during their time in the Sixth Form College. Students expressed their thanks to the Sixth Form Management Team and Sixth Form College Administration Team.
Mrs Randall shared her sadness at having to say goodbye to such a dynamic, enthusiastic and caring group of students. Students leave the Sixth Form College with fond memories and strong lasting friendships. She ended her speech with: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. We hope that you will go on to see things that startle you, hope you feel things you never felt before, hope you meet people with a different point of view, hope that you have a life that you are proud of and more than anything else that you are happy. Step confidently into the next stage of your life’s and never forget that you will always be part of the Steyning Family.”
Mrs Randall spoke warmly of the lasting memories of students and staff that will all miss the enormous contribution made by Mr Warwick to Steyning Grammar School. A wonderful teacher who has taught generations of students, leaving a lasting, positive impact on the lives of thousands. Year 13 students presented Mr Warwick with an apple tree and vine hung with their best wishes and farewell thoughts in the form of fruits. Retirement for Mr Warwick will focus amongst other things on living a sustainable lifestyle.
Students were most appreciative of the leadership strengths of Headteacher Mr Wergan, applauded for his positive impact on Steyning Grammar School. Senior student officers presented Mr Wergan with a lemon tree which they felt embodied many aspects of Character Education; namely Growth Mind-set, Grit and Zest that have been epitomised by the Class of 2016 .
As Mr Wergan summed up: ” I was incredibly proud of our Sixth Form leavers – a talented and inspirational group of young people destined for great success. They are wonderful ambassadors for Steyning Grammar School, and I thank them, and their teachers, for their hard work and commitment.”
Finally, Mr Wergan brought the formal proceedings to a close with a toast to the class of 2016.