Showing gallery: New Building Opening Ceremony & Senior Presentation Evening
The 24th January 2017 saw the official opening of Longdean School’s new building, followed by the annual Senior Presentation Evening. The opening was very well attended by Longdean staff, sixth form, alumni, ex-staff, Governors and representatives from the local community. Some of the alumni included The Rt Hon. Lord Boateng; Max Whitlock, Olympic Gold Medalist; Fehinti Balogun, RADA graduate/actor; Justin Yates and Matt Stevens, successful businessmen and co-owners of local company Jamvans; and Vincent Cheong, Cambridge student.
Whilst guests toured the school they were entertained by music by Joshua Robinson and Jamie Ridge (Longdean Sixth Form) who played a delightful acoustic set in the main atrium of the building. Once the visitors returned from their tour they were welcomed by Headteacher, Mr Graham Cunningham.
In his speech he said: “I hope that this building gives you all an environment of which you are proud and in which it is a pleasure to work. I hope that it is a building that reflects what we stand for as a school and provides opportunities for both current and future students to be all that they can be.” It is safe to say that this is indeed the case as all visitors who attended marveled at the open plan, colourful and “learning inspired” design of the new building.
The Rt Hon. Lord Boateng very graciously agreed to ‘cut the ribbon’ and officially open the school building but first entertained those gathered with a celebratory and uplifting speech. He insisted he was joined in cutting the ribbon by Mr Graham Cunningham, Fehinti Balogun and Max Whitlock.
The Senior Presentation evening that followed was billed as a ‘Celebration of Achievement’ and it certainly fulfilled this title. The Longdean Sixth Form band kicked off proceedings with a variety of lively songs, finishing with their version of ‘Valerie’ by Amy Winehouse which certainly set the tone.
The Senior Leadership team took it in turns to announce the awards to over 200 students from Years 9 to 13. The awards were presented by Mr Fehinti Balogun who also delivered an extremely inspirational speech to the students, sending the powerful message, “You can be whoever you want to be”. Fehinti was presented with ‘The Complete Words of Shakespeare’ by Head Girl, Molly Workman and Head Boy, Adam Hatchett as a nod to his recent stint in King Lear at The Old Vic and his love of everything ‘Shakespeare’.
All students who received awards have worked extremely hard and thoroughly deserved to be acknowledged and celebrated in an event such as this. The new school hall was full to capacity with people wanting to share in the youngsters numerous successes. It was also very much appreciated that Max Whitlock stayed to join in the celebrations, much to the delight of the students and staff alike.
All in all it was a fantastic evening and a great way to start the new Longdean School era.