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Year 11 Leavers
Year 11 Leavers 2016

Year 11 Final Assembly and last day

My Assembly Speech – Mr Upton

When I think of year 11, the first thing I think of is the end of year 7 when you were told in an assembly, given by Mrs Marshall, that I would be your Head of Year in year 8. I remember so vividly the cheer that went up and how I did a little fist pump on the stage –one of the best moments in my teaching career. I was so proud of that reaction, especially as I had fought long and hard with Mrs Marshall to be your Head of Year. I had to convince her that I was the right person to take year 8 through to year 11 and, as we approach the end of our time together, I sincerely hope that I was. I also remember the lovely year 7 art classes that I taught which convinced me that year 8 was the year group I really wanted the following year.

I will also remember my very first assembly as your Head of Year; I asked you what I wanted from you as a year group; I am not sure you knew what I meant, but some guessed correctly, and I told you that I wanted you to make me feel proud, and I can honestly say, I do feel proud, above anything else, I feel immensely proud of you, I am very proud to have played a small part in your school career, I feel honoured to have been your head of year and, as I look back, I can truly say that there was something each and every day that has made me proud of you.

You have suffered the worst of times and the best of times at Theale. We all understand your time here has not always been easy; you have put up with a lot, but you are the year group that helped to move this school out of special measures, the year group that never gave up and the year group that grew in every teacher’s heart.

As you leave this school and, whatever you think of your time here, I hope you realise how special you are to me and that I, and your teachers, TAs, all support staff, have always had your best interests at heart– yes I know I have been on your case for four years, but I hope you will,eventually, realise why.

‘I should have known better
Nothing can be changed
The past is still the past
The bridge to nowhere’

From ‘I should have known better’ by Sufjan Stevens

But, you can change the future…the future is yours to make what you want it to be, good luck in your quest

Finally; year 11, you are a brilliant and wonderful year group; I love you to bits. 

You make me smile, you make me laugh, you make mecry, you make me angry, you frustrate me, you cheer me up, you make fun of me, I make fun of you, we fall out, we make up, you get me through the week, you make teaching worth it - you are what being a teacher is all about; I will always look back on our time very, very fondly, with a big smile on my face and a fat tear in my eye.

Lots of love and Up the Owls!

The aftermath:

That was a few days ago now and I have had time to look back and marvel at what a wonderful day it was. Year 11 were absolutely brilliant; I have known nothing like it in all my time at Theale, and that’s a long time, and I will never forget that day. To say that their behaviour and attitude to the day was perfect is underplaying it; I don’t have the words to say how I feel about them – I was in bits that day and the day after that and possibly a few days after that as well, this coming from a hardened northerner from Sheffield, it was a most beautiful day.

I would also like to add that that without the support of all the staff at Theale Year 11 would have found things far more difficult. I would like to thank all staff, and that’s anybody who has had anything to do with Year 11 over the last five years, for their fantastic support over this year. Year 11 have received the most amazing support and guidance and it is down to all of them that Year 11 are finishing their time here so strongly.

Finally, thank you very much Year 11, this has been a wonderful experience for me. In my teaching career this has been unique and very special. I have loved being your head of year and I wish you all the very best in whatever direction you take your career.



Here are a few photographs from the Leaver's Assembly and last day.


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