Mr Gaskell gives students a motivational message for their next steps.

The Year 11 Celebration Assembly is always a key event in our school calendar, offering the chance to reminisce on students’ time as Isleworthians. This year’s event posed a unique logistical challenge, due to the ongoing school closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we were able to use our existing technology to host a full assembly using Microsoft Teams, with the majority of the year group in attendance from the comfort of their own homes!

The assembly was led by Pastoral Leader Mr Gaskell, who has worked tirelessly with the pastoral team throughout the year to provide constant support. He spoke about some of the positives that the year group could take from the school closure – building resilience, honing their independent learning abilities and developing new skills. He also included a short montage of photographs from when the boys were in Year 7, and it was amazing to see how much these young men have grown since September 2015!

This growth was evident in the student speeches, with a representative from each form group reminiscing about their memories from Isleworth & Syon. These boys showed great maturity as they reflected on their journey so far and their memories of that first daunting day in school! Following these speeches, Mr Gaskell handed out several awards, including the House Leader and Governors’ commendations, and 23 students were rewarded for 100% attendance during Year 11. The assembled online audience was also treated to two video montages – from sport and drama – which showcased how talented this year group has been!

One of Mr Gaskell’s key messages in the assembly was a quote from the poem ‘Invictus’ – “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” He encouraged the boys to determine their own futures by how they approach things – engaging in productive actions and taking responsibility for themselves. Wise words to these boys as they embark on their next steps, be that our Sixth Form next year, further education, or the world of work via an apprenticeship or another route.

The assembly ended with one final video, and it was perhaps the most special of them all. It was great to see members of school staff sending messages from home – offering support, encouragement and motivation to these students who have been a huge part of their lives since 2015. It really showed the connection between staff and students, a real testament to the sense of community in our school. It was a lovely way to end a fantastic occasion. Whatever comes next for this group – we wish them well.


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