Gamlingay school’s poignant farewell

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The end of any school year is met with relief at the completion of another successful term, excitement at the prospect of the forthcoming holiday and more than a little sadness as the time has come to bid farewell to the pupils who are leaving to continue their education elsewhere.

The end of this school year has, however, been even more poignant as all the staff and students parted company and closed the door on Gamlingay Village College for the final time.

The College is closing as part of a move to introduce two-tier education in the area.

A spokesman said: “‘A small school that thinks big’ became our mantra three years ago and never has this been more apt than in the last 12 months. As our pupil numbers dwindled you may have thought that GVC would just drift along to the inevitable end. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have had an action packed year starting at the College, where we rattled around in the building, before relocating to a mobile on the field at Gamlingay First School which, with just two classrooms, was a much cosier fit. The resilience our pupils have shown, as they continued to study hard and take the many changes in their stride, has been admirable.

“In the penultimate week of term, we had a school trip to France, camping in Normandy. The pupils enjoyed a trip to Mont St Michel, although many saw similarities with Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. A guided tour across the bay, retracing the pilgrim’s journey was one of the highlights, especially the sinking sands. Another day, pupils were each given 3 euros and taken to a French market to buy suitable fillings for a sandwich. In groups they were then judged on their choice and presentation, before eating their creations. Paddle boarding and kayaking were very successful and much enjoyed as were games on the beach and paddling. The enormous climbing wall was exhilarating and everyone faced up to and overcame their fears. A visit to a goat farm to learn about how the cheese is made was also fun, with many of them having a go at milking a very patient goat.

“ The World Cup added to the excitement of the week with our guide teaching them “allez les bleus”.

“While in France we received our Year 6 SATs results. 2017 saw our best ever results, but in 2018 they were even better! 89% of our students are working at Age Related Expectations – a fantastic achievement for our staff and students alike and a fitting accolade for all the hard work put in by everybody. The way our students approached their tests back in May was commendable and the results richly deserved; we could not be more proud of each and every one of them.

“During the last week of term we had an RE day where the pupils learnt about festivals in one of three religions: Hinduism, Judaism or Islam. The groups were then remixed so that they could teach each other and design a multi faith centre.

“And so to our final day: having registered the pupils, we took them all to GVC where we had a fun morning of games, sumo wrestling and a bungee run on a large inflatable. Parents and friends joined us and thanks to Mr and Mrs Daisley we had a delicious barbecue lunch, followed by ice-cream and a fantastic cake commemorating 53 years of Gamlingay Village College. The pupils each gave a short speech about their best times at GVC and this was followed by the giving of awards and prizes. It was a fitting tribute to all at GVC and a chance for us to acknowledge our parents and supporters. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all those in the village who believed in us to the end and to those parents who supported us totally during the last year.

“Gamlingay Village College has always had a very special environment; one of trust and caring commented on by many including Ofsted. Those of us who have worked there have always had a strong sense of family so it is with enormous sadness that we have said our final farewells. We hope that a little of our spirit and resolve will remain and wish everyone all the best as they start a new chapter in their lives.”