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Congratulations Class of 2022!

Dear Class of 2022, 

Before I speak directly to you, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of our staff community for their work with students and families throughout their time with us. A special thank you goes to the teachers who have been unwavering in their commitment to the success of every student and who have taken such a keen personal interest in the development of those leaving us today. Without your support - in times of elation and consolation! -  the celebration of our Year 13 students would feel very different indeed.

Class of 2022, you have spent many years preparing for your next step, the last two undoubtedly being the hardest fought. You have spent time and copious amounts of emotional energy ensuring you are offered a place at your chosen institution, and most of you are willing to uproot yourselves from the country you call home to pursue yet more education. Ultimately that’s what this next step is - a choice to stay in education. Not only is that wholly admirable, but it is a huge privilege to be able to dedicate such a considerable amount of time to the pursuit of self-improvement. Use that privilege wisely.

You have selected to go on to study the following:
 
·       Advanced Technology at the University of Twente in the Netherlands,
·       A degree in Law at LUISS University in our wonderful home city,
·       International Management at the University of Manchester
·       Sociology and Social policy at the University of Bath
·       Marketing and Communications in Canada at the University of British Columbia
·       Business Administration at John Cabott
·       Economics and Business at the University of Massachusetts
·       and
·       Politics, Philosophy and Economics in the Netherlands and also closer to home here in Rome
 
 
It is a time of great excitement and anticipation for our graduates; new adventures lie ahead, important challenges are coming into focus on the horizon. For all of you, it is a journey into the unknown, into risk – towards life’s great promises and possible uncertainties. What you learn about yourself and your friends along the way will be at the heart of this experience - the invaluable friendships you forge will nourish you for many years to come. As for the people you have met and the relationships that you have made while at Southlands - I am certain you will treasure them. 

 

It has been our responsibility as staff here at Southlands to accompany you on your journey so far - not as your friends but as your guides, charged by your families to help steer you to this day. A good guide is someone who makes himself or herself ‘progressively unnecessary’ and many of you have shown you are ready to be ethical leaders and positive contributors to society through your actions this year. Supporting Red Cross initiatives, stocking and delivering for local food banks, constructing in-school social events for our KS3 students and fundraising for worthy charities are just some of the ways you have made an independent choice to leave a positive impression on our school landscape. Please continue to think very carefully about the roles you play in the social and professional spheres you will eventually belong to and acknowledge the potential influence you have on the people around you – use it - effect the same positive change wherever you go.

As a class, you are kind, you are humourous and you are intelligent – it has been a real pleasure to be able to work so closely with you all. But now we, the guides,  must take a step back and let those wonderful qualities steer you in the next steps you take. We all leave this evening with memories. Memories of the good you have done, the wrongs you have righted, but mostly the impressions you have left on us all – thank you for what you have brought to Southlands.
 
And with that - on behalf of the entire Southlands community – Congratulations are in order -  you made it! Your school, your families and your friends are immensely proud of the changes you have made in becoming the fine men and women who leave us today. Make the most of everything you do beyond the school gates, but please remember, that those same gates will always be open to you – come back, share your success, and be the next guides.
 
My very best wishes to you all – Well done Class of 2022. 

- Mr. Johnons
Head of Senior School