Class of 2023 Graduation

By Fiona Wilkins - July 10th, 2023 | Posted in Article

Students, staff, families and the wider community came together to celebrate the achievements of this year’s leavers, at the Class of 2023 Graduation.

It was a fantastic event celebrating the achievements of all the Year 11 Leavers and the Principal was  delighted to receive the following feedback from Neil Kenny, the Lead Officer for Exclusions and Reintegration for the London Borough of Hillingdon.

“The dedication and commitment you and your staff give to the young people at The Skills Hub is, in my experience, totally unparalleled. Where a student’s relationship with teachers and other adults ‘in authority’ has broken down, where trust and confidence in them have, at best, been eroded and more often than not shattered and lost, you and your staff step in and reset those experiences. The student’s confidence grows, self-esteem returns, self-belief and a determination to be successful re-emerges and the future becomes bright once again.”

Principal Paul Chambers, opened the event by speaking directly to the students, “I encourage you to be bold and remember that the past does not define your future.”

His message was reaffirmed by the chair of governors, Suzanna Challenger, who told the students, “Whenever I come here and see your tenacity and determination, it is really reassuring to know that the future is bright.”

Some of the students also took to the stage to speak of their experiences at The Skills Hub.

Bobbi thanked staff on behalf of the students and spoke about their experience at The Skills Hub, “My old school looked at my past, The Skills Hub gave me a future. When we were down you picked us up. You have given us the tools to go on and be great.”

Vice-student council president, Kirsty, read a poem she had composed for the occasion which reflected on their time and included the line “I look around and wonder when did we get so confident.”

Dillon gave his account of his time at The Skills Hub through a rap he had composed which was received by students and the audience with rapturous applause.

After the handing out of certificates to all those who are leaving The Skills Hub this year, we were delighted to welcome back past students who had completed their first year in college to hand out the ‘Most Likely To…..’ awards to the class of 2023.

We were also honoured to have both the CEO and Deputy CEO of Orchard Hill College Academy Trust, John Prior and Laurie Cornwell, in attendance at the event. They both urged the students to go out and write their own future and to make sure they kept in touch to let the school know how they get on.

The students delivered a special tribute to Andrew Fuller, the Student Intervention Lead, and he gave a rousing speech which encouraged them to “Run to the Roar,” and finished by saying “In the Skills Hub we give you wings, now you have to fly.”