Following the government’s Covid-19 lockdown announcement in March last year, the 2020 leavers’ time at school came to an abrupt end. Although the teachers did their best at the last minute to arrange the traditional ‘crazy shirt’ day and a final leavers’ assembly, many of the customary events to mark the end of school life such as the Leavers’ Ball had to be cancelled.
Determined that the students should not miss out, the school joined forces with the OP Association to organise a special black tie reunion dinner at the York Mariott Hotel on Friday 3 September 2021.
Eleven members of staff joined the students for a wonderful evening of celebration which included a drinks reception and dinner. Afterwards, there were speeches by Laura Powell, Senior Deputy Head and former Class of 2020 Head of Sixth Form, and Charlie Lambert (01-08), OP Vice-President and Lower School Housemaster, who both praised the remarkable resilience and positivity of the year group in facing the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.
Laura said “It was wonderful to see so many of our Class of 2020 returning to celebrate with their peers and teachers at their well-deserved and long-awaited Leavers' event. We enjoyed a great evening sharing school memories as well as stories of what students have been doing over the last 18 months. Their resilience and determination is inspiring and we are hugely proud of what each and every one of them has achieved.”
Charlie Lambert added: “It was a pleasure for the OP Association to support these young OPs by putting on a reunion event for them. It’s fantastic to see so many here and I hope we will see them again at future OP events.”
Hebe Quinney (11-20), Class of 2020 Head Girl, rounded off the evening by thanking everyone for coming and expressing the students’ appreciation of the school and the OP Association for their support in organising a memorable occasion.
History almost repeated itself with the Class of 2021 who had to cancel their Leavers’ Ball due to the government’s decision in June to extend Covid restrictions. However, a new date and venue was booked and with support from the OP Association the ball went ahead slightly later than planned on Monday 26 July at the KP Club near Pocklington.
Tim Morris, Head of Sixth Form said “The past two years have been different and more challenging than anything any of us could have expected and yet, just like the 2020 leavers, our Class of 2021 students are leaving us as well educated, well rounded and well-prepared young adults who are ready for their next steps in life. They truly deserve to celebrate all they have achieved at this Leavers’ Ball and we are grateful to the OP Association for their help in organising the event.”
A gallery of photos from the 2021 Leavers event can be viewed here. This link will take you to our new OP community website, where it will ask you to sign up, if you are not already a member. Once signed in, you can view all matters OP, such as news, events, careers network, photo galleries and also allow you to connect with other OPs. Please contact the OP office if you have any queries regarding this.
If any OPs would like help organising your own year group reunion, please contact Rachel in the OP office.
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