Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen boys and girls and you're all very welcome to this year’s Leavers Service. It's great to see so many parents here this year and it's taking place indoors for the first time since 2019, which at least saves various staff the job of chasing down bits of paper that are flying around the field in the breeze.
Last year, there were a few moments during the presentations that I considered abandoning ship as the gazebo threatened to take off into mid-air. We also only just made it before some fairly serious rain came down.
Being inside also offers a little more intimacy and you might even get to hear what is said, which is always nice.
We have changed the format of the service this year so that all the subject prizes were awarded in our celebration assembly this morning. The trophies are here outside in the quiet area and children in Year 6 and their parents are welcome to take photos afterwards, and that goes for everyone of course. The reason that we did this was because we wanted today's afternoon service to be equally about all of the children, each and everyone of you has made a wonderful contribution to the life of the school and we wanted to recognise that in our service this afternoon.
The end of every school year is the time to look back on achievements and share fond memories, as well as looking forward to the year that lies ahead. When it's your turn to leave the school at the end of Year 6 there is added depth of meaning to not only this event but everything that is said and thought and felt by your friends, teachers and acquaintances.
On that theme, I spent a bit of time preparing for today's speech with a look through the Leavers’ Yearbook, where the children reflect on times gone by and also recollect the odd occasion when things haven't gone quite to plan.
I have picked out a couple to share. Firstly, there were many very nice thoughts and sentiments and I wonder if anyone can remember who wrote this:
My time at Crescent has taught me that no matter what you want to do or be you can achieve it if you work hard and put your mind to it. To be kind and helpful. To not judge others by their appearance but by their personality. To be happy, and share a smile
That was from my head girl, well said Evie.
Here's another nice one, who's willing to put a hand up for this?
Crescent has taught me not only how to do new things in work like how to times fractions, how to spell long words or how to learn online safety, but it has taught me to believe in what I can do, that I can achieve anything if I try hard. It has taught me that the best things in life don’t come easily, it has built me as a person and it has been my home for 5 years.
Many of you refer to being a good friend a good learner and a good citizen; the school promise which is at the centre of everything we've done here.
However, this love of the school promise doesn't quite explain one or two of the funny memory entries. For example;
Mrs Nelson’s ridiculous singing!
Sorry Mrs Nelson. Or maybe
When Caspar Webb spilt spaghetti bolognese down his shirt
I can't quite workout which of the promise sayings these ones go under, but never mind. And don't worry Faris and Abigail, I'm not going to ask anyone to own up to those ones.
I also quite like this one which encapsulates the trials and tribulations of a child who has a parent who works in the school. No prizes for guessing who wrote this one;
When Mrs Symons ‘styled it out’ when she tripped over the corner of the stage in assembly. That looked off the embarrassing scale.
And actually, looking through the yearbook gives you quite a good insight into this year’s class. Every year is different, there's no denying that. Probably the key qualities that you have are that sense of humour, that understanding that actually it's okay to be a bit different, allied with the genuine support that you offer to each other.
You may know what you like but you also know that other people see things differently. sometimes you have to be open to new things but at the same time there are certain values that you have learned here that will never leave you.
These qualities will stand you in good stead actually when you do move on, so stay true to them.
Let me try and explain this with the help of a few sweeties and chocolates. I shared some images on the screen at this point:
- Magic Stars: Younger children will say they like these, while older ones may think they are babyish - but they are still good really. A bit like the things you learn at primary school, like good manners, taking turns, being kind, etc. Actually, these things aren't babyish at all, so don't forget about them. That’s my first bit of advice; ‘Don't forget the values you learned as a very small child’.
- Flake bar: Looks very attractive and tempting, but if you eat this wearing your best clothes you could get in a mess. So; ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover, take time to discover the person underneath’.
- Japanese sweets: would you try them? They might be very good. Unless you try new things you might be missing out and will never appreciate them. What about trying a Cheesecake Kit Kat!? They do exist apparently. ‘Don't be afraid to take on new challenges’
- Enormous box of Jelly Babies. I have a bit of a weakness for these but if I eat all this myself tonight, I'll be ill. It's a good idea to share the things you like with your friends. Year 6, ‘Be generous, with things, with thoughts and with time’
I've got just one more here to show you. Yes that's right, it’s a good old Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bar. It may not be new or different but you know you can rely on it. Well, that's a bit like your School Promise. It might be very familiar to you now, but if you come back to it whenever you have a question or a problem in your mind, I suggest you won't go very far wrong.
So, I'm going to add just a little Dairy Milk bar to the leavers’ gifts today Year 6 and you can spend a minute or so thinking about your good old primary school and the lessons that is has taught you when you eat it later on. Judging by some of the sweet eating feats I saw on the bus back from Devon for some of you that could even be before you leave the room.
I will finish with a thought and a blessing for you all;
We think about everyone who is leaving us to start a new part of their life at a new school.
Help them to take with them the lessons they have learnt from their time here
and to be a force for good in their future school and future life.
We thank God for everything they have given to us here at Crescent and ask that you please be with them in their new school lives.