We hope that you are all enjoying the summer break so far, and coping with the soaring temperatures.
We particularly hope that our graduating Class of 2023 has been taking advantage of their long holiday before university, with so many of them taking fulfilling and fun InterRail trips across Europe.
Inevitably, minds begin to turn towards their A-level Results Day in August, but we also remain touched by the glowing memories of their Graduation Evening last month.
On Friday June 23rd we celebrated our annual leaver’s event. This is one of the most significant events in Runnymede’s calendar, and this year’s was truly special.
We began with a drinks reception for all of Year 13, their families and teachers. The graduating students, wearing elegant suits and dresses, and wreathed with smiles, arrived to the accompanying strains of a string quartet. It was particularly lovely to see the attendance of entire families, often with two or three siblings who had previously graduated from Runnymede. Everyone attending was caught up in the atmosphere of convivial celebration, discussing plans for the summer and university, and commenting on the future developments of the school campus.Following the drinks reception, everybody made their way into the Julia Powell Auditorium for the Prize Giving and Graduation Ceremony.
The Headmaster, Mr Powell, spoke with sincerity and conviction about his family’s dedication to school. He also reminded us that not only is Runnymede the most high-achieving school in Spain, but also that its enduring values continue to make it an island of liberalism in today’s fractious world.
This year, we were more than delighted to welcome a very special guest of honour to the leavers’ event for the first time ever.
His Majesty’s Ambassador to Spain, His Excellency Hugh Elliott, had generously agreed to speak to the graduates and give out their prizes.
Mr Elliott delivered a speech of entertaining yet thought-provoking urbanity. He outlined his own career trajectory, reminding all present that apparent setbacks can in fact be helpful in crafting one’s own personal path. And, of course, the British Ambassador’s attendance reinforced the unbreakable cultural and educational bonds between the UK and Spain which Runnymede College embodies.
The Ambassador then handed out the academic and co-curricular prizes to the deserving winners, culminating in Gonzalo O. receiving the Founder’s Prize for Academic Excellence.
Every member of Year 13 then ascended the dais to receive a round of applause and a graduation momento of their time at Runnymede.As the audience returned to the golden evening sunshine, there was the chance for photographs and congratulations.
Ms O’Driscoll, Co-Head of VI Form, then brought the Year 13s to the space by the Founder’s Building. After a speech full of apt arboreal imagery, she asked members of Year 13 to plant a tree in recognition of the Class of 2023. This tree will now continue to grow on campus as a sign of the year group’s continuing presence in the Runnymede family — a lovely gesture that will now be an integral part of future graduation celebrations.As parents and family reluctantly said their goodbyes, the staff and pupils sat down for dinner together. Wine and conversation flowed, with many happy and humorous reminiscences. The food cooked and served by the kitchen staff was delicious, and once again Mrs Powell had ensured that all ran smoothly.As dinner drew to a close with glasses of cava, the Head Girl, Isabela M., announced some light-hearted additional awards voted for by staff and students.
The Head Boy, Rafa S., then spoke eloquently of his past at Runnymede, and his hopes for the future for all his classmates. And then Mr Crumpton gave his final speech as Co-Head of VI Form, toasting to the Founders and wishing an emotive valediction to the graduating class.It was a gloriously memorable evening, replete with laughter and emotion. We wish all our graduates well, and hope for similarly glorious results next month.