Thursday 17th November saw Northgate welcome back the Class of 2022 for the annual GCSE Presentation Evening. A chance to celebrate the achievements of our former Year 11s and present them with GCSE certificates, subject prizes and community prizes. This evening was even more special, since it was the first time hosting it again after the pandemic.

The evening was hosted by Heads of School, Dr Hone and Mrs Galley who talked fondly of the impact made by the students during their 5 years at Northgate and the extraordinary challenges and disruptions they encountered due to Covid. They had shown true resilience and determination throughout that time in particular. There were photos from their first week at Northgate, through the years and to prom

It was time for some of the GCSE certificates to be awarded along with certificates for those who had made outstanding progress. Mr Lea, former Head of Year, came back especially for the evening and read out the names.

The guest speaker for the evening was former Northgate student Bobby Copping. Bobby spoke of his time at Northgate and the support he received as his football career started to flourish. At a young age, Bobby was dealt some challenges on the pitch in relation to his health and had difficult decisions to make. Each time, he tried to turn the negatives into positives and come back stronger. Despite sadly having to retire from professional football a couple of years ago, after playing for Bury and Peterborough, Bobby has gone on to achieve great things. This includes being interim assistant CEO at Peterborough United FC, the Women’s Team general manager, head of the Schools Initiative, founder and CEO of the registered charity ‘The Bobby Copping Foundation’, supporting young people with their mental health, completing a masters degree in football business and management and currently completing a masters degree in sports directorship. What amazing achievements at such a young age! Bobby ended with some words of advice for the audience – his 5 Bs: be the hardest worker, be resilient, be grateful, be humble and lastly, be a good human being. Bobby’s words were truly inspiring and we are incredibly proud of everything he has gone on to achieve. It shows that with hard work and a positive attitude, the sky’s the limit.

It was then time for the subject prizes. Departments each nominated a student to receive the award and wrote a little piece as to why they were so deserving. There were plenty of cheers, laughs and smiles as winners collected their special trophies from Dr Hone, as Mrs Galley read them out.

Fine Art – Amber S

Drama – Maddison P

English Language – Lewis B

Religious Studies – Maddison F

French – Tommy G

History – Owen B

Music – Abbie B

PE – Jasmine F

Design Technology – Victor C

Photography – Freya M

Spanish – Bethan K

Textiles – Sarah S

Dance – Charlie M

Science – May H

Maths – Rhys T

foot and Nutrition – Taylor M

Graphics – Robyn C

Geography – Fred T

Computer Science – Blake P

Mr Lea then gave his speech to huge cheers and clapping. He said that the year group would always have a special place in his heart, as the first year group he took all the way from Year 8 to 11. He spoke of their hard work and determination throughout the 5 years and how proud we are as a school of what they managed to achieve.

The former Head Girl – Freya M, Deputy Head Girl – Lacey C and Head Boy – Lewis were presented with special awards by Mrs Galley and Dr Hone to thank them for their services to the school. They were great ambassadors for Northgate. A big thank you also to Deputy Head Girl – Prisha B and Deputy Head Boy – Fred T, who were unable to attend.

Finally, there were prizes for Contribution to the Community (Fred T), Dereham Lions Club prize for Services to the School (Freya M), Governors’ prize for Personal Progress (Cassidy W) and the Trustees’ Award for Resilience, presented by Alan Jones, Chair of Trustees (Damien F).

A big thank you to Mrs Bone for organising the evening, to parents and carers for their support of the students and school over the past 5 years, Mrs Galley and Dr Hone for hosting the evening, Bobby Copping for his inspiring talk and staff who supported the evening. Of course, a big thank you also goes to our ex-Year 11s who made the evening so special. We wish the Class of 2022 the best of luck in the future and hope they look back fondly on their time at Northgate.