Friday, February 1, 2013
It is a rite of passage across the pond.
But the grandeur of an American-style graduation came to Gorleston this year, when Ormiston Venture Academy celebrated record GCSE results by the class of 2012.
Wearing red caps and gowns, teenagers returned to the school’s Great Hall on the eve of the publication of national league tables last week.
A string of VIP guests joined the extravaganza, where all students received graduation scrolls and left with their heads held high.
Principal Nicole McCartney, herself an American, said: “This event is about commemorating the fact that Venture students leave with more than simply qualifications – they leave with high aspirations of themselves and others.
“They know they can achieve excellence.”
She said students had asked for the ceremony, and teachers were glad to oblige.
“They want to celebrate what they’ve achieved and they like the idea of everyone’s hard work being acknowledged in the ceremony,” added Ms McCartney. “It is a culmination of all their hard work through-out the year and deserves to be celebrated with a formal event.”
The academy, which was formerly the failing Oriel High School, opened in September 2010 and has gone from strength to strength since.
An overwhelming 96pc of all students gained five or more good GCSE passes last year and almost 60pc included the benchmark English and mathematics qualifications.
This year, they are expected to rise again.
Simon Gilbert-Barnham, vice principal, said: “We are extremely proud of the class of 2012.
“They worked tirelessly to achieve these amazing results.
“These results will open the doors of opportunity for these students and we wish them all the best in their futures.”
Ashley Scarlett, part of the class of 2012, gained 19 GCSE qualifications – including 12 at A and A* grade.
He began his scholarship at Gresham’s Independent School in September and is making great progress already.
Ashley said he is thoroughly enjoying the experience and Gresham’s head teacher Philip John was in attendance.
As part of the ceremony, students were invited to go into the Big Brother style diary room to record messages to commemorate their time at the academy. Students talked about how much they enjoyed their time at Venture and valued the VIP treatment on the night.
Guests of honour at the event included Peter Murray, who created the Ormiston Trust in memory of his sister.
Toby Salt, Ormiston Academies Trust’s new chief executive, also attended the event along with Gordon Boyd representing Venture’s strategic partner, Norfolk County Council.
Police are investigating the death of a woman whose body was found in a garden pond today.
max temp: 15°C
min temp: 14°C