In an evening of celebration, we were delighted to welcome back Mrs O’Donnell, formerly the Head of Key Stage 4, to help present Year 12s with their hard-won GCSE certificates.
The current Year 12 had entered Year 10 after a tricky couple of years of lockdowns. Mrs O’Donnell praised the students for the way they had navigated the return to School, showing increasing empathy and maturity. She said she had shared their ‘journey’, which although sometimes bumpy was also full of fun and learning.
She urged them to cherish their certificates – not only because they’re an administrative nightmare to replace – but because “they reflect the challenges you persevered to overcome, the strength of character you showed when things weren’t easy and the deep sense of satisfaction that comes from really applying yourself to do your best.”
Reflecting on her time at Walthamstow Hall, Mrs O’Donnell said the quality of human connection between people here was something special. She mentioned “another huge strength” of Wally: the freedom and support girls have to define their own sense of achievement and meaning. She signed off urging girls to “work hard, of course, but most of all squeeze out every ounce of fun and opportunity that is on offer.”
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