12 May 2022
In the midst of their A Level preparations, Upper Sixth students have taken a little time out this week to remember and celebrate their time at Woldingham.
On Wednesday 11 May, Fr Gerry led an emotional Leavers’ Mass, reflecting on everything the students have already achieved at Woldingham and the wonderful friendships they have made here. Sacred Heart Ribbon Pun Pun led the procession of leavers carrying roses, which is part of the Sacred Heart tradition, symbolising innocence and love and reminding students of an important message from St Madeleine Sophie Barat, “Be humble, be simple and bring joy to others”. During the service, Deputy Head Girls Sophie, Agnes, Molly and Abi gave their personal reflections, reminiscing on their time together in the valley and celebrating how they have grown together as a year group, becoming a tight-knit community built on a foundation of love, respect and support. At the conclusion of Mass, students were presented with a candle to take away so that the light, fire and passion they have nurtured during their time together at Woldingham can be taken out into the world as they continue to learn and grow.
Mass was followed by a “typically British BBQ”, complete with plenty of rain. However, our Upper Sixth are a resilient and determined group and made the best of it, quite literally throwing themselves into things on various inflatable attractions and enjoying the meal and plenty of candyfloss and ice cream.
As the students begin study leave ahead of their A Level exams, Woldingham’s Director of Higher Education & Careers shares news of what’s next for them after they leave the valley.
Miss Jamie Gallagher, Director of Higher Education & Careers
We are extremely pleased that all our Upper Sixth students who applied to university have received excellent offers. They have achieved this in a year when fewer offers are being made and tighter criteria placed on applicants due to a high number of deferrals and grade inflation. Described in the media as the ‘big squeeze’, university applicants are facing the stiffest competition in years. Our sense of pride in our Upper Sixth students could not be greater.
Some students are still making their final decisions on which UK university to make their first choice and which to select as their ‘insurance’. To date, UCL is the most popular destination, chosen by Jane, Nina, Tina, Eleisha, Nicola and Yuki, closely followed by the University of Exeter, the preference of Bea, Flo, Jemima, Emily and Lucy.
Further afield, students have received offers to study at New York University, Parsons School of Design, New York, Pomona College, California, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Toronto and the University of Hong Kong.
Several students are choosing to take a break from studying and are planning exciting gap years, including travelling the world, undertaking volunteer work in various countries and completing a ski season.
STEM subjects are perennially popular for Woldingham students. Neuroscience, chemical engineering, marine biology and computer science are among courses chosen this year. A number of students have opted for business and management-related courses but, as always, Woldingham leavers’ choices are extremely varied and include history of art, architecture, archaeology/classics, philosophy & politics, law and French & Spanish. Each and every one of our Upper Sixth is on their path to #WriteYourOwnStory.
On a personal note, working with this cohort of students has been hugely rewarding, seeing them grow and transform into fine young adults. Whether it was spending hours deliberating over a personal statement, deciding which university to apply for, teaching them chemistry or coaching them through teenage problems, I am grateful that I have had the chance to get to know so many amazing young women.
From every member of the higher education team at Woldingham, we wish you all the best in your upcoming A Level examinations and hope you achieve your personal best. We also look forward to welcoming you back to the school in the years to come to pass on your knowledge and experience to the next generation of Woldingham students.