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Strength and Positivity

Amidst the global uncertainty and challenging times we find ourselves in due to COVID-19, the St John’s Chapel was full to the rafters as the School community came together for an unexpectedly early end of term service on Friday 20 March. The service celebrated the recent term and was an occasion to bid a fond farewell to our Upper Sixth leavers.

The Head, Rowena Cole, opened her address with: ‘Although the school closures announced across the country are unprecedented, I am happy and proud to be able to stand strong together for a final time this afternoon, and to celebrate our leaving Upper Sixth pupils. The strength and positivity shown by the entire St John’s School community has been incredible.’

The service saw readings and prayers from both School Captains, James and Phoebe, who have been fantastic leaders and role models during their final year at St John’s.

The Chaplain, Revd Moloney, reminded the congregation of the School motto, to:

quae sursum sunt quaerite (“seek those things which are above”) 

Having stood before school communities at other difficult times, Revd Moloney reminded pupils that although we are experiencing change, upset and uncertainty, it is important to turn to those things that ground us: ‘Remember the sermon on the mount where Jesus reminded his followers to focus on today and not on the worries of tomorrow. Focus on what we have. Focus on those things that are above.’

Sadly, for our Upper Sixth pupils, the national school closures have brought forward their last formal days of their schooling. The entire congregation engaged with whole-hearted applause, to signify just how much they will be missed. Earlier in the day, Upper Sixth pupils were able to enjoy their ‘Leavers Tea’, and spend time with their friends during their final afternoon on site.

As the emotional end of term service closed, a fantastic sense of belonging could be felt with a final hymn, sung in full and powerful voice by the entire community.

A key aim of St John’s School is to provide an education that equips our pupils with the character to embrace the challenges of the wider world, pupils have demonstrated their remarkable resilience and strength during the final few days of school.

Before the pupils and staff went their separate ways, The Head reminded them that whilst we are not physically together on site, we are, as always, together in spirit and will continue to support one another as we embark on a new style of learning, teaching and working.

We look forward to sharing further updates with you. In the meantime, follow @StJohnsSurrey on Twitter to see how we are #StrongerTogether.