Making the move to guided home learning as we did today might have been a sad occasion. And yet, thanks to a huge effort made behind the scenes by Dr Stringer and staff, and thanks also to the unfailing positivity of our students, we managed to end the term in proper OHS style – with some sadness at parting, as is only fitting, but also with a sense of the gravity and decorum which the moment demands.
Throughout the day, Dr Stringer and Heads of Year ran small assemblies for various year groups in the spacious setting of the main hall. Here, Dr Stringer addressed each year group differently, seeking to articulate how these unprecedented events might be affecting them and seeking to empathise, too, with the emotional turbulence the girls are experiencing.
To Year 13, for example, Dr Stringer noted how modern media doesn’t quite prepare us for moments like this, when as a society we appear to lose control. To be plunged into uncertainty, she told Year 13, as you stand on the threshold of adult life and look forward to embarking on autonomous courses of study and doing what you love, might conceivably make you feel a sense of loss, even of theft. It might make you feel that your life stories have been knocked out of shape, just when you were preparing to make the giant leap of womankind.
And yet, Dr Stringer, you have made the best of it, because that’s what you do. The way you’ve dealt with adversity, she said, has been a credit to your positivity and spirit. The way you sang songs in the atrium this morning, and the way I’ve seen you looking out for each other over the past few days, has been nothing less than an inspiration.
For our part, Dr Stringer, added, we will work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that you get what you deserve from this process.
Later in the day the girls had celebration lunches and students from Year 11-13 were given the opportunity to get photos taken with a professional photographer to commemorate the moment. These photos will be made freely available to the girls in due course.
Finally, at the end of the day, the entire staff gathered outside to applaud the Year 13s as they left us for what, at least in their present incarnation, will be the last time.