Year 13 leavers from Steyning Grammar School's Sixth Form College gathered together for their formal prize giving dinner at Avisford Park Hotel near Arundel.
Attending the evening on Wednesday, June 27, were 240 sixth formers along with members of staff that have worked with them over the last few years.
They were greeted by headteacher Nick Wergan, together with the director of the Sixth Form College and assistant headteacher Sally Randall.
Tokens were awarded to students in recognition of their approach to learning as positive, independent and engaged young people.
Students were recognised for their contribution to the wider life of the school. Three students, Andrew Storey, Manfie Kelly and Anthony Anderson, were nominated across all of their study programme subjects.
Others received recognition for overcoming significant difficulties during their academic careers, showing perseverance and determination to succeed.
Joe Blatch, history teacher and head of politics, was awarded for his inspirational teaching, the passion for his subjects he has ignited in so many, and his willingness to give so generously of his time to his College Learning Group mentees.
Other Sixth Form College students received prizes for their work and contribution to the college. This included head boy Jamie Walker, head girl Anna Holland, deputy head girls Gabriella Henson and Emily Comber, deputy head boys Fraser Sheath and Harry Dommett together with head boy of boarding Hardeep and head girl of boarding Arizona Hutchens and their deputies, Charlie Foster and Anna Scott, who were all awarded the Foundation Governors’ Prize for carrying out their duties superbly throughout the year.
Sally Randall shared her sadness at having to say goodbye to such a dynamic, enthusiastic and caring group of students. She said: “Value and nurture the friendships you have invested in during your time at Steyning. Keeping in touch with your real self will help you to be honest and true, so don’t lose the friends you made at school.
"Take time to enjoy this time of your life. I hope when you look back, you will remember is as one of the best times of your life, a time of expanding horizons when the world feels full
of possibility. Our door will always be open to you. Step confidently into the next stage of your life and never forget that you will always be part of the Steyning Family."
Senior student officers presented Nick Wergan with a bust of his head as they felt he was a perfect candidate to go on the plinth in Trafalgar Square for which from time to time the public can nominate whose worthy bust can occupy it for a few months. Students said that he embodied all that was important in an influential school leader.
Nick summed up with a quote from French writer Victor Hugo. He said: "Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.
"My advice is about your principles and your roots. You have developed these at Steyning Grammar, and it is the depth of your roots that will enable you to weather any storm. When you are under pressure, your character will get you through."
A three-course dinner followed and the evening’s celebrations continued with a disco until midnight.