For most Chigwell students, their families and teachers, A level results day started with nervous anticipation, but this was soon followed by delight at the results achieved. After the unprecedented time caused by the pandemic, all students who took public examinations this year should feel proud of what they have achieved in the face of such unusual challenges. Hopefully better times lie ahead and they are now able to move on to university or employment with positive memories of their time at school.

As so often happens, some students and parents have written in with their thoughts about the support that the School has provided. One parent commented that her daughter had had the best school life.

I'm so happy with my results and I can't thank the Learning Support Department enough for all the support they have given me.

Year 13 Student

Another said how delighted he was with his results said how he would always be grateful for to the School for supporting me for my entire educational journey. Another wrote to say that he wouldn’t have achieved the grades he had without the support of the School, allowing me to move on to study at medical school.

Finally, one parent reflected Chigwell has instilled some invaluable life skills (confidence, self-discipline, strength in leadership and a great sense of team spirit). We are very proud of his achievements but also very thankful for the opportunity he was given to grow and develop in an environment that would nurture his ambition and encourage him to be the best version of himself that he could be. There is an element of sadness that his school career has come to an end and in such disappointing circumstances with the onset of COVID 19, but we appreciate all the school has done to limit the impact to pupils and their education as a whole.

However, one student wrote at length about her feelings after eleven years at Chigwell. The following is just some of what she said and is perhaps how many of us would like students to feel as life beyond school begins.

"When I used to think about what my final year at school would be like, I certainly didn’t think it would be like it was. Neither I nor anyone else planned for a pandemic, online learning or wearing masks around the school grounds. Chigwell’s decision to hold two sets of exams to determine grades and also considering other material where appropriate, made me feel as though the high levels of stress and uncertainty caused by the current unprecedented world climate coupled with the typical stress of exams was being acknowledged and dealt with in the best way possible. To help us, teachers were readily available during half-term and the holidays to assist students with problems or queries via email, teachers also organized in-school revision sessions where difficult material would be revisited, questions were answered face to face, practice essays were marked and feedback given, and practice papers could be sat under exam conditions. The willingness of teachers from Chigwell to give up their own time demonstrated their passion towards helping us achieve our highest potential – they always believed in us, and so we started to believe in ourselves too.

I joined Chigwell in Year 3 when I was seven years old and to have now finished Year 13, eleven years later at the age of eighteen, feels surreal. But whilst I am sad to be leaving Chigwell, I am also extremely excited for what the future will hold. I have completed my exams, received my results and come September I will be starting a degree in Psychology. I will meet completely new friends, be taught by completely new people and be living in a completely new country. My school life might be ending but the rest of my life is only just beginning, and so leaving Chigwell is a bitter sweet moment.

I look back at my time at Chigwell as an accumulation of thousands of good memories. I only realised how special my school experience at Chigwell has been now it’s over, and to know I won’t be returning for lessons in September has not yet fully sunk in. I have grown up with Chigwell and it has helped me become the person I am today – I think I am confident in my own opinions and ideas, ambitious to succeed, and considerate of others. I thank my teachers for taking the time to understand each individuals strengths and weaknesses, recognizing and encouraging us when we’re at our happiest and helping and sympathising with us when we’re at our lowest. They unravel each personality to understand how we tick, and tailor their teaching accordingly to help each student achieve their very best. I have made the greatest friends at Chigwell, people who, whilst we may be hundreds of miles apart at university in the future, I know I will always stay in touch with. I am now an ‘Old Chigwellian’, and I couldn’t be prouder. They say the experiences we love stay with us forever, and so whether I come back in one year or forty years, I know Chigwell will always be there to welcome me back."

We wish all leavers every future success and happiness.