Royal Grammar School

Newcastle

A beginning, middle and an end

A beginning, middle and an end

 

Here we are, then, at the half-way point in the summer term.

Our GCSE and AS candidates are very much in the middle of their ordeal:  they’ll be grateful for a break before finishing their exams in June. A2 candidates have barely begun: they really are at the beginning of their exam period, with those vital papers that will confirm that university places all to come after half-term.

For all our younger students, though, this is the end of exams. The Junior School have had SATs and internal exams; Year 7 were free of them (we just think they need a year without them); Year 8 had a few,Year 9 a few more; and  Year 10 students have been tested all week. Time to relax, then, and also let off a bit of steam before returning for what will certainly be a hectic second half of term.

I said above that our Upper Sixth formers are only the beginning: they are at an end, too. Last Friday was Leavers’ Day, accomplished with great good humour, charm and exemplary behaviour by our senior students! They were lovely in school, and still more so at the Leavers’ Dinner at St James's Park that evening. It was wonderful to see such a great bunch of students having the maturity to leave with a good grace (it doesn't always happen, and never by accident).

There were certainly moist eyes: it's been a long time for some students, up to 11 years in the one institution. Nonetheless, even those who only joined in the Sixth Form have built a deep attachment for the place, for their fellow students and indeed for the staff who have helped them along the way. It's quite an emotional parting for teachers, too. But, as always at the RGS, affection and even sentimentality are offset by the endemic sense of humour – there was more laughter than anything else last Friday.

So they have now (just about) left school! Of course they'll turn up for their exams, and we hope to see a lot of them on RGS Day (28th June), so it's not quite goodbye, not yet. But it's close.  

It's a rite of passage. Truly, then, this is a time of beginnings, middles and ends: that’s true of all of life, isn’t it?

Whatever stage you're at, I hope everyone has a great half term.  

Bernard Trafford

Headmaster