The Classes of 2020 and 2021 braved the dark November evening to join us for drinks and dinner in the school Theatre, which had been decorated in a suitably sparkly, festive manner. Excitement and energy were palpable as friends were reunited and fond memories of Business A Level (among others!) were shared. The only disappointment was that – on account of the supply chain squeeze – the Class of 2020’s favourite food, chicken goujons, were not on the menu!
The two year groups were hard-hit by Covid-induced disruptions to their A Level studies and Sixth Form experience. So it was a real pleasure to hear all about the students’ lives since leaving the High School – at university and at work, whether it was training to be a vet, studying Maths or working for an MP. It has by no means been plain sailing for these two year groups, especially during this Covid-period, making it all the more remarkable that they have done so well and are continuing to pursue their goals.
Former member of the Student Senior Leadership Team and alumna of Class of 2020, Claudia Pieczka, summed up in her heartwarming, entertaining speech her year group’s experience of starting at university, taking a gap year or embarking on the world of work.
“I think the best way to describe it was unexpected. The past year has been nothing like any of us had planned, starting off with the fact we didn’t have a ‘usual’ Sixth Form experience; we did much of our studying via online Guided Home Learning; we didn’t get to sit our exams due to lockdowns and Covid restrictions; nor did we have a Leavers’ week; and to top it all off we didn’t get a Freshers’ experience at uni…sometimes different isn’t a bad thing though. I believe many of us have grown in this past year and have learnt so much. There have been so many highs and lows but one thing I think we are all thankful for is the friendships we made in this school”.
She closed by saying, “While we look to the future – which is fast approaching – I am sure we will never forget our time here [at the High School] and the memories we made. I cannot wait to see where everyone is the next time we all meet again, as I am confident, if this year has taught us anything, it will be nothing like we expected”.
The students – who are part of the GDST’s 70,000-strong alumnae network – travelled from across the country to attend the evening, reminisce with their Form Tutors and peers, and share their most recent adventures. Finally, a special mention must go to Elena C, who had travelled all the way from Edinburgh to participate! We wish them all the very best in the years ahead.