The Latymer Link - page 3

he end of a school year, and the looking forward to the beginning of
another, is very significant for some.
I recall a Latymerian, in his 90s now, telling me that he had a vivid memory of
meeting a particular student, on his first day at the school. This person became a
lifelong friend.
There are several rites of passage for Latymer students in the summer term. Since they are so significant for
students, we try to handle them carefully.
Year 6 students, who will be starting at Latymer in September, come for an evening, to meet peers in their
form, their form tutor and Head and Assistant Head of Learning, and their parents also come to school, to
meet other parents and hear about the school. Soon after, students come during the school day to take part
in some practical subjects and to do a quiz to help them learn the geography of the school site. The purpose of
the Induction Day is to sample the atmosphere of being at the school on a “working day” with older students
and to further establish working relationships with others in their form. Feedback is always that this is very
useful to enable students to pass from primary to secondary school with the minimum of stress.
Year 11 students have been together for five years as they come to take their GCSEs. Taking important
external examinations and progressing to the sixth form is a significant event. For ten years the APFLS have
organised a “Prom”. Students arrive in fine clothes, board a Thames tour, some would say party, boat, and
dance for a few hours. The photographs are provided to students as a memento – I’m sure the group photos
of the six forms in particular will be looked at again over the years.
In the sixth form the Year 12s are joined by another 50 to 60 new students from other schools. In the sixth
Form they no longer wear school uniform.
Leaving school is a significant rite. Year 13 have their final year-group assembly, which lasts for several
hours and is led by students themselves, with many in fancy-dress. The welcome from students as I speak
is extraordinary, there is a sea of characters from films and television programmes – the atmosphere is
very special, as if students do not want it to end, but it must so they can finish lessons and take important
examinations over the next few weeks. Their Leavers’ Ball in a central London hotel is also organised by
Rites of passage involve moving from one phase to another, to reflect upon experiences in the old phase and,
one hopes, to move successfully to the new phase. Latymer school life is enjoyed, as an end in itself, but
also as a preparation for the move to a wider context. We aim to continue to enable students to relish and
remember these rites of passage.
Mark Garbett
From the Head
Rites of Passage
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