This is one of the hardest things I have had to write; a farewell to a group of young people who have been in my heart for a long time. We talk about saying goodbye, but I do not believe that you ever truly leave Richmond House, it lives within you, and calls you back to visit, both physically, and in your memories. Older generations talk about school days being the best days of your life. Richmond House days do rank as ‘the best’ but they also equip you to go on in life and do your best and have numerous ‘best times’.
You have all achieved so very much in such a short period of time with the help of supportive, dedicated parents; inspiring, talented teachers; and your own grit and enthusiasm. When I am asked about the children at our school, I talk with pride of your kindness, determination to succeed, and your obvious enjoyment in whatever you are tackling in that moment. You always feel prepared and eager to take on new challenges, and to help those around you to succeed alongside you. These qualities are not tested in exams, but they are tested throughout life, so you are not leaving Richmond House, you are taking a spiritual part of it with you.
As it happens, your exam results were some of the best we have ever had. Your success on the sports field has rarely been matched. Performances in assemblies, music concerts and the amazing Bugsy Malone production have moved our whole school community. The responsibility roles you have eagerly invested in have helped elevate the experience of younger pupils. They have felt special in your presence, and have looked up to you in admiration: a real gift.
Thank you for being so respectful but warm. I will miss you, but look forward to hearing of all your future successes, and will be expecting regular updates and visits!