14 November 2017

On Thursday 9th November, the annual St. Edmund Arrowsmith Certificate Presentation Evening took place, where the former Year 11 pupils gather together for the final time to receive their well-earned GCSE certificates. It’s also a great opportunity for them to come back to school to see many of their former teachers and peers for possibly the final time. This year, Ashton-in-Makerfield’s local MP Yvonne Fovargue was in attendance to present the pupils with their certificates.

At the start of the evening the recipients, along with their friends and families, made their way into the school to be greeted by the smiling faces of teaching staff and their former year group. After a quick chitter-chatter among friends, the ceremony began.

Mr Westhead, the Chair of Governors, welcomed everyone to what was going to be a fantastic evening. Following Mr Westhead’s speech, the Year 7 choir treated us to some wonderful singing, setting up the presentation nicely. Then the part everyone had been waiting for; the presentation of the certificates. Each pupil was called up by name to receive their award with a handshake from Yvonne Fovargue and their Head of Year, Mr Cullen. After receiving their awards everyone was again seated for a few words from Ms Fovargue. In her inspiring speech, she talked about the fact that even if you don’t have the best start in life, or are going through a tough period it doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around. She used herself becoming an MP, despite having difficult times, as an example. Much to the audience's amusement, she also touched upon her previous colleague Ed Balls as an example, explaining his challenges but how, “it didn’t stop him appearing on Strictly!” 

Head Boy Tony and Head Girl Jade spoke about their time in school, their year group’s success and expressed gratefulness and gratitude on behalf of their year. To deliver the closing speech was Headteacher, Mr Dumican, who ended the ceremony with his ‘favourite prayer of all time’ - “Do It Anyway” written by Mother Teresa. Head girl Jade then gave Yvonne Fovargue a bouquet of flowers as a token of thanks for the evening. After this poignant ending, everyone proceeded to enter the hall for refreshments and to have time to reflect upon all their achievements at St Edmund Arrowsmith.

The ceremony was an enjoyable evening and I was very pleased to be present at such a sentimental event. However, the realisation that it will be me collecting my certificate in a year's time is a scary but exciting thought. These events really put into perspective how satisfying it is to see all your hard work pay off and it really inspires you to put the effort in. In just twelve months down the line, I’ll be sat in that hall with my year group for the final time and I hope we will all be as proud of ourselves as this year were.

by Joe Guerin, Head Boy