Blog Archives

In Pictures: Year 11 Graduation Day – 26 June 2013

_MG_6240Twelve months ago, on the day in between my final GCSE exam and the ‘prom’ ball, my classmates and I donned academic gowns and mortarboard caps to formally ‘graduate’ from Furze Platt. For many, it was an entirely trivial affair: the vast majority of the yeargroup returned in September, to join the Sixth Form. But for others, it marked their last hours on the school site, at the end of five happy years at the Senior School.

Since last June, time – as I’ve occasionally stopped to remark – has flown by with shocking speed. Now Head Boy, in a year’s time I myself will have left Furze Platt. Again. Except this time it’ll have been for good.

But today I was able to pause to watch as, a year on from the start of my own glorious summer of Year 11, my younger schoolmates took their turn at wearing the formalwear.

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Spencers Farm FPSS Relocation Plans Dropped – 26 July 2012

BREAKING THE NEWS: How I told readers of the plans, and my thoughts about them, back in March. I thought it would be appropriate – given how many people read my post with my immediate thoughts about the plans – to just put up this short article about Tuesday night’s blocking of the Spencer’s Farm development. Peter Prior, the multi-millionaire businessman behind the plans, told the Advertiser that the scheme for the new school could also ‘no longer go ahead’ after Borough councillors pledged to protect Green Belt boundaries. Yesterday, in an email to parents, headteacher Ms White confirmed: "the decision has been taken by the partners involved not to promote the Furze Platt Senior School (FPSS) redevelopment proposal any further".

Sounding himself like a tyrant losing his power and his own way, Prior reportedly compared the Borough to Fascist Italy’s leader Mussolini and complained that the minority had influenced the majority. I think there, though, he’s wrong: thousands of local residents had raised complaints about the scheme, with a petition containing the signatures of 2,342 directly opposed to the plans handed  to the Council by the Maidenhead North Action Group at the end of last month. On their part, it’s great to see that the Borough have listened to their voices.

What that means is that the school and the 320 homes at Spencers Farm, along with the 380 new homes on the existing FPSS site, will not be built.

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Furze Platt Year 11 Graduation Ceremony – 27 June 2012

LEAVING ON A HIGH: Mortarboards thrown in the air, before the inevitable (and time-consuming) retrieval exercise begins. (DSCN0760)

Today’s date had long been in my calendar for two reasons: firstly, it was to mark the end of my GCSE season, with this morning’s German Reading paper. But it was also the date scheduled for our formal farewell ceremony from Furze Platt, a university-style ‘graduation’ from compulsory education.

WALKING DOWN THE AISLE: Though we looked perculiar in our gowns and academics caps, the vast majority of us were proud. (IMG_8031_AMB)I’ll admit that even I – at first – felt a little silly parading into the Sports Hall to a soundtrack of recorded grand orchestral music, dressed head to toe in black mortarboard and gown. But quickly I realised that I was in fact proud; proud to have completed my exams, proud to have completed my fifth year at Furze Platt, and proud to be where I was at the time.

Music played at the event included sections of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (sadly, the original, non-lyricsised version – I was all up for bursting into Arthur Christopher Benson’s words).

ROWS OF STUDENTS: Lorna (fourth from L) smiles for Mum's camera while I (third from L) am distracted by something else. (IMG_8045_AMB)

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