There is something special about the last day before summer holidays. The informal last lessons, getting dragged into helping teachers clean up offices, food, hugs, and the awesome leaving assembly.
After the compulsory musical introduction, ‘well done’ comments and the obligatory list of changes (apparently a new fence is to be installed at the front of the school!), then the goodbyes to teachers began. After a little paragraph about them read by a fellow sixth former, presents and hugs were given and each of them gave their own speech and some even cried. One teacher who was leaving to retire after sixteen years at my school, gave his ‘designated sixth former’ a kiss on the cheek which would have been fine if he didn’t follow that with “that’s the first time I’ve been allowed to kiss a student” leading to quite a bit of commotion and a lot of embarrassment for my friend who was the said year 12 student. The same teacher went on to mumble some sort of story of year seven students that unfortunately got translated into drunkenness by a few students who had never had him as a teacher. They, therefore, did not realise that those ramblings were merely a sample of his usual self.
After each leaving teacher had their five minutes of fame, the staff choir sang, just for us. Despite seeing some teachers you’d never expect to sing, singing parts, they were actually quite good! The Glee-like ‘da dums’ did make us laugh and the low notes of the deputy head made us smile and it is pretty much impossible to explain just why it was so awesome but, unless you were there, just accept that is was!
The grand finale was introduced as a song that one of the leaving teachers would like to have played and that the lyrics would be up on the screen. And the song that started to play? S Club 7’s Reach. First we sixth formers stood up, and then the rest of the school gradually joined us until the whole school was standing, singing and clapping along with the song of my childhood. If I remember rightly, this happened once before when I was in about year 8. Except, that time, health and safety was less of a worry and a lot of the school was standing on chairs and we all knew the song where as now, the year sevens would only have been two or three years old when the song was released. Nevertheless, there is always something amazing about the group spirit of the last day of the summer term.