Stephen Langlois, general manager of Guernsey Water and a former student of The Grammar School, was the guest of honour at the school’s recent sixth form awards evening.
The event was hosted by the school’s new headteacher, Elizabeth Coffey, who invited Mr Langlois to present prizes to students who had excelled in a broad spectrum of fields from academia, the arts, sport and music as well as to those who had made a significant contribution to the school and the community.
The focus was on celebrating and rewarding the leaving students’ achievements.
Mrs Coffey said in her address: “It takes an investment from all of us to make a school community and your investment always pays off. Celebrating and rewarding achievement in all its forms is what excellent, inclusive schools are about.”
Mrs Coffey remarked on how proud she was of the whole school community including teachers, parents and students.
The Sixth Form Centre celebrated its third cohort of International Baccalaureate (IB) students who gained very positive results, up on the previous year, with an average points score of 34.4 (the equivalent of three A* grades at A level).
At A level 54% of grades were A*- B and just over 81% were A*- C.
“Of course it is important to look not just at how any school performs in a single year; getting indications of how schools perform over time is vital,” Mrs Coffey said.
Over three years, average attainment at the school has been high with both pass rates and success rates (the number of students that complete their courses) being above national averages.
Mrs Coffey said: “It is also vital to measure school performance in terms of achievement, which compares how well the students do with how they should have done, the resulting value added figures for the sixth form overall are very positive and, again, are well above average and place the school in the top third of all maintained sixth forms nationally.”
After the presentations Mr Langlois addressed the students, sharing some of the difficulties he had faced when trying to determine and follow his own career path. He spoke of finding purpose which, like the values of the Grammar School, is about more than academic achievement alone. He also emphasised how the school’s values had formed a foundation for the traits that had helped him tackle life’s challenges.
Finally Mr Langlois spoke of the heritage shared by the whole Grammar School community, and he thanked the former students for their valuable contribution to that heritage.
Mr Langlois said: “It was a real honour to be able to congratulate all the returning students on their accomplishments. It’s such an exciting time in their lives because they have so many incredible, life-shaping experiences ahead of them. With all that excitement ahead it was great to see so many of them coming back to celebrate the successes of their whole year group. You could see how much it meant to them, it was evident in all the beaming smiles I received when presenting the awards.”