News from The Kings of Wessex Academy

End of Summer Term Achievement Assembly and the End of an Era

24th July, 2017 by Jude Owens

The Kings of Wessex Academy marked the end of term with the traditional Achievement Assembly outside at the front of the Academy. The weather stayed cloudy, but fine; even if the wind blowing on the microphone occasionally sounded like rumbling thunder.

Students were awarded awards for Special Achievements, the subjects and the best tutee, as well as special tutor group awards for the best attendance, resilience, and the fewest behaviour points, Headteacher commendations, Duke of Edinburgh and sports awards with House Tintagel the overall winner for the year.

But this year’s assembly was exceptional as it marked the end of an era as Executive Headteacher Mr Chris Richardson and his Deputy Mrs Barbara Marshall are both retiring this summer.

After nearly 17 years in post and speaking from the heart, Mrs Marshall thanked students for being themselves and reminded them to stay safe at all times, including on social media and to the student’ amusement, she told how she has passed on her ghost key for social media to her successor Miss Hunt, and her secret cameras. It was good to know these Kings myths will continue. She encouraged students, if they are hesitant about any decision then it means do not do it! To students’ laughter (because they know from previous telling) – she also urged them to drink tea, only when they are ready and in a stable and loving relationship and to be safe out of school, not least at the reservoir.

In a moving speech, Mr Richardson recalled how he started working at Kings back in 1995, nearly 23 years ago before any of the students present were even born and recalled teaching some of their parents. He warmly said how in all those years it had been a great honour and privilege to be the Headteacher of Kings and thanked them for being such great students and that he has always been proud of Kings’ students and thanked them for making the school such a special place to be.

Mr Richardson recalled how US president John F. Kennedy once said “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Interestingly, JFK actually stole this from his old Headmaster who told his pupils “to think not what your school can do for you, but what you can do for your school.” Very true and he thanked all those students who have given so much to Kings this year and hoped that in the future they would continue to use their talents to help others. He reminded them of his mantras, “to be the best that you can be” and “to stand out from the crowd” - and do not forget to smile!

Sad to say goodbye, Mr Richardson will look back with great fondness on his time at Kings and the wonderful memories and thanked them and wished them good luck for the future.

On behalf of all the students, to express their gratitude, members of the Senior Student Team presented Mrs Marshall with flowers and thanked her and Mr Richardson for all they have done for Kings. The motto of the Academy is to ‘get the best out of everyone,’ which they truly believe Mr Richardson and Mrs Marshall have continued to do throughout their time at Kings. A legacy they hope will continue. They noted that whilst Mr Richardson and Mrs Marshall may feel sad when they drive out of the gates for the final time, they will leave behind so many memories and students who have bright and exciting futures because of their work in supporting, nurturing and ensuring they want and achieve the very best.

An end of an era, but it ended the term on a happy note.

In September, Mr Gavin Ball, Mr Jason Edwards and Miss Gemma Hunt will join Kings as Executive Headteacher and Deputy Headteachers respectively.