Year 11 and 13 students recently celebrated their graduation from St. Ignatius Catholic School during a memorable ceremony at a packed Loyola Hall.
Cheered on by friends, family and members of the school community, the graduates received certificates reflecting their graduation from the school’s IGCSE or A Level programmes and many received individual prizes for academic and other achievements.
This year’s Student of the Year for all-round achievement and contribution to school life was Anika Hewitt. Her award was presented by Mr. James Tibbetts from the Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored many of the prizes. Anika also captured subject prizes for Art and Biology (shared), the Home School Association’s Community and School Service Award and the Ernst & Young Academic Excellence Award for the student with the highest grade point average, presented by Mrs. Betty Ann Duty.
Other notable students who collected several prizes included Sarah Tatum who won prizes for English Literature, the Principal’s Award for the Student who Best Fosters Christian Ethos and the new National Gallery Award for Visual Arts presented by Mrs. Nancy Barnard. Alain Mudeen won subject prizes for Business Studies, Chemistry and Biology (shared); and Taylor Wight won subject prizes for Physics, History and Religious Education. Students who collected two awards included Claire O’Dea, Patrice Stewart and Cynthia Gonzalez-Espinos.
This year’s Year 11 graduating class were reminded by the school’s Master of Ceremonies Mr. Rice that they had reached the goal set of achieving the highest number of Honours graduates of any graduating group with a total of eight. Many of the Year 11 graduates will return to the school in September to begin their AS Level courses.
From those Year 13 students graduating with Advanced Diplomas, Stuart Gorter captured the prize for Highest Academic Attainment and several subject prizes including Mathematics, English Literature, Business Studies and the new Walkers Law Prize which was presented by Senior Partner, Mark Lewis on behalf of Walkers who sponsor the school’s AS Law course. Other notable recipients included Anne-Marie Gray who shared the subject prize for Art and won the Principal’s Award for the Sixth Form Student who Best Fosters Christian Ethos, and the National Gallery Sixth Form Award for Visual Arts Achievement. Following her success Anne-Marie is to take up an internship next year at the National Gallery. In addition Adishree Mani won the subject prize for Music and the Sixth Form Award for Contribution to the Life of the School and Briana Maffessanti won subject prizes for Geography and Biology. The majority of the Year 13 graduates will go immediately on to higher education with most either having received unconditional offers of placement at good universities in the U.K. or U.S.A. or awaiting their examination results before taking up conditional offers.
The guest speaker for the evening was Mrs. Angela Martins, Chief Officer for the Ministry of Education and a former Chair of the Board of Governors at St. Ignatius, who presented certificates and prizes and made the graduation address. Amongst many carefully selected pieces of advice she reminded the students to always remember and make good use of the particular values they had learned whilst at St. Ignatius.
The student address was given by Briana Bergstrom who reflected on the closeness of the graduating group, a number of whom had been together since kindergarten. On behalf of the group she thanked the parents and teaching staff for their constant support and guidance and reminded her classmates to always aim high in the future.
During his address the Principal Mr. Embleton, reminded the community of the many strengths and positive messages that had been highlighted earlier in the year by the School’s Inspectorate, which had confirmed St. Ignatius as being a good school and which particularly commended the school for the quality of the students’ spiritual and overall personal development, the quality of teaching and learning, the variety of extra-curricular activities and the school’s links with the community. Mr. Embleton re-affirmed the school’s commitment to further development through the launching of a new school improvement plan in September and urged all parents and stakeholders to work together constructively with him and the school to support its improvement in the coming years.