We asked the Head Boy and Head Girl to share short excerpts from their end of term Prizegiving speeches with the ESMS community. Thank you Emily, Joe and all of our Sixth Form for your leadership this year.
We know that while the final year experience was different for our 2020 leavers, we are confident that you are leaving ESMS prepared to tackle whatever you set your minds to next and that you will remain part of the ESMS community. Everyone at ESMS is so proud of you and we will miss you.
Emily Cooper, Head Girl at The Mary Erskine School
“Writing this from isolation is quite bizarre. The older years are meant to be sitting their SQA exams, the S3s going to Carbisdale and the younger years embarking on various project weeks. It’s safe to say that this isn’t the way we expected our school year to end. However, these long days have given me (too much) time to reflect on just how much MES offers us throughout the year and how much I will miss the ESMS community.
The first thing I now realise I miss about MES are the many events that take place each year. I miss the concerts and watching my friends perform in the musicals taking place on the Mar Hall stage. I miss everything about Kaleidoscope – the dancing, the lights, the costume, the sound, the very enthusiastic S6 boys in swing!
The next thing I miss is the support. This comes in many forms - the first being our support for each other. This year, the chanting at the rugby final in December and the more recent hockey matches pushed our teams to be the unbeatable forces that they are! Then there’s the support from our Heads of Houses, Form Tutors and subject teachers who go above and beyond to make sure we are making the most of our time at school. Not only do they run an impressive selection of extracurriculars and organise life changing trips, but the staff are also there whenever we need them to be. As I leave for university, my aim is to take the commitment, resilience and empathy I have learnt from the teachers at MES and replicate it in my everyday life. I am so grateful to have grown up surrounded by such positive role models.
Yet, perhaps what I am going to miss most is the Class of 2020. It is safe to say that our year took an interesting turn. Lockdown was announced and the exams we had been working towards were cancelled. We were angry that our work had seemingly gone to waste, sad to say a premature goodbye to our friends and scared for the future. But there is one thing I need to get straight: this year has not been pointless. We have made memories, met new people, learnt new things within our chosen subjects and about ourselves. We may have experienced a shortened version of S6, but we have become stronger because of it. The way in which we have handled this uncertain situation is very telling of how much we have grown up. It is a testament to our resilience and now, we are as ready as we will ever be to walk away from life at MES and step into new lives scattered across the country and even the globe.
So from a girl whose final year at ESMS came to an unexpected halt, my advice for the younger years would be to treasure every single day as it comes. In the blink of an eye, your time at ESMS will be over. So savour the long assemblies, savour lunchtimes with your friends and savour the excellent teaching you receive from the staff because you never know if your days here will be cut short."
Joe Ewing, Head Boy at Stewart’s Melville College
"Our final year at Stewart’s Melville College has been an absolute roller-coaster, unfortunately culminating in a far from ideal manner, with Sixth Form being cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this, I am proud to say that the Class of 2020 have definitely made the most of our final year at SMC, and I can’t believe that we are now all technically ‘former pupils’! This time at home has given me some well-needed time to reflect on my final year at SMC.
The Class of 2020 will be forever grateful for the myriad opportunities and unwavering support we received from all the staff at SMC throughout our final year. A piece of advice that I would grant to all of the younger years is to grab as many of the opportunities on offer at school as you can. You really don’t appreciate what you have until it is gone, and the thing that I would do to engage in just one more lunchtime club with my friends. Sign up for and try out everything. Even if you don’t enjoy it, you will thank yourself for giving it a go. The myriad clubs and extracurriculars on offer at SMC are testament to the hard work of the staff to provide the best learning experience for the pupils possible – make the most of it.
Writing this article from my desk at home instead of sitting in the buzzing study room surrounded by my peers makes me realise just how much I am going to miss the Class of 2020, or, as we are perhaps more likely to be known, the ‘Class of Corona’. The times we were able to share during our final year of school will never be forgotten, and there is no doubt in my mind that we will all cross paths again in due course.
Thank you to the Class of 2020 - from Stew Mel to the world."