Creating young people who are well equipped for university life and adulthood.
Stand out from the crowd
The Sixth Form experience at Rockport is about exploring a new intellectual landscape and offers girls and boys two years of rich stimulus in the classroom, a wealth of experience and opportunity outside it, and an ideal preparation for life after school. The range of academic disciplines is broad and the curriculum is designed so that every pupil will be able to follow their own interests and to move onto whichever chosen path of Higher Education they wish to follow
Over 17 different A Level subject options
International travel and exchange opportunities
Enrichment opportunities to enhance career prospects
All schools have Sixth Forms but there is no doubt in my mind that Rockport’s is something special, something unique.
Rockport is a place where I have cried and laughed, sometimes simultaneously, and it has been the birthplace of some of my favourite memories. For the past week or so, I’ve been stuck in a bizarre headspace where I am ecstatic to be done with mandatory education and yet confused on what to now do with myself. I’ve been filling the time with movies and tv shows – specifically teen movies – all of which while differing in genre or style, possess one key defining moment of the main character’s life where they learn some big, earth-shattering lesson that helps them become the person they need to be. Whilst scrounging for inspiration for this speech, I had to pause and wonder what my key moment was; what was my earth-shattering lesson? The truth is I remain unsure even now, but I will attempt to summarise my thoughts anyway.
First of all, Rockport endeavoured to teach me about the necessity of change. Coming here was the second time I moved to live outside my home country and studied within a different culture. I am Nigerian and though being here was strange at first, the brilliant thing about this school is the pure sense of connection and togetherness it instils in all its students. The truth is I have been supported and encouraged through every difficult decision I have made whilst studying here, and I am endlessly grateful for that. I recall at the beginning of this school year, when I was just starting UCAS, I went to speak to Mrs McClure for help with my personal statement because I applied for a physics degree. She gave me a book, titled A Brief History of Everything which talks about the evolution of the world according to science. I took one look at how long it was and immediately thought, “I am not reading that book.” She must have read my mind because she simply told me I didn’t have to – I just needed to know enough to fool the interviewers into thinking I had. I am proud to say, that to this day, I still have not read that book. That is just one example of irreplaceable memories that Rockport has provided me with in my time here. Alongside this stands the memorable trip to Crawfordsburn, walking back for an hour in the pouring rain and getting McDonalds afterwards, as well as the Round Square Conference – a wonderful opportunity to meet and learn about new people and the world around us.
The bittersweet truth about moving on is that it means leaving something else behind. For me, at this moment, Rockport is what I am leaving behind. Though of course I know that this is a two-way street. I will carry the memories of my time here with me forever and yet, I’ve noticed that with every year, as I moved up through school, I recognised fewer and fewer faces, and I know a year from now, if I ever choose to visit, I will recognise even less. That’s another sad truth: things go on whether or not you are prepared for them to. There is a struggle to not be the one left behind, when everyone else is moving on. I think one thing lockdown showed a lot of people is the horror of stagnation, and how awful it feels to be stuck in the same place for so long. Change is necessary and the only thing you can control about it is your response to it. I am eternally grateful to my family – my parents, my brothers Jide and Uzo, and my sister Aishling, for being a constant source of love and support for me through the many changes. I am also very grateful to the head boy, Oli Whiting, for being one of my favourite friends as well as the team of prefects for all the support they have provided for the many events this year.
I heard from a reputable source just earlier this week that ‘goodbyes are the doorway to our future’ – a sentiment that feels confused but sweet, nonetheless. The gravity of goodbye is not lost on me. Canonically, I do not deal well with endings - I cry at books or movies – and sometimes they aren’t even obnoxiously sad. It’s why I am a big fan of cutting things off early or abruptly to avoid dealing with the fallout. Except I wasn’t given that option here, as apparently you can’t end a speech in the middle of a sentence. And so, here I am, dealing with the fallout, and saying goodbye to some of my dearest friends and favourite teachers. I hope you all know how grateful I am. I will cherish these memories forever. Thank you for everything.
Head GIrl , Ugonna Ojiako
I’ve spent a lot of time recently reflecting on how quickly time has flown and with university quickly approaching, change is imminent.
As I walk through these halls for the final few times as a student, I struggle to see buildings and classrooms. For me, every corner of this school holds a memory.
When I see the Spanish room, I see myself laughing to the point of tears with my best friends over the most nonsensical things while I'm sure Ms Megarry was deeply questioning both our sanity and sense of humour. When I see the music room, I see Miss Carr and I obsessing over a new tv show or movie and her becoming the first of many teachers I would truly consider a friend. When I see the chemistry room, I get conflicting memories of Ms McClure of both being the teacher who sent us through the most treacherous weather conditions on our silver Duke of Ed while also being the teacher who treated us to the biggest McDonald’s order I have ever seen on our way home.
Each and every teacher has made a lasting impact on my life and education. I would like to say a special thank you to, Miss Bridges, Mr Hamilton, Mrs Johnston and former teachers Mr Lutton, Mr Toland and Miss Anker.
When I see the friends I’ve made over the past seven years, I am reminded of the journey we have been on together. While it hasn’t always been an easy ride, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Because without all our mishaps, we wouldn’t be the people that we are today.
And when I see our head girl and one of my best friends, Ugonna, I see someone who has always stood by my side and kept all my secrets. As well as listening to all my relationship drama without complaint.
I see my memories embedded in these walls and wonder how long they’ll remain after I’m gone. I wonder how soon it be before they get replaced by the next generation of Rockportians, You guys who sitting in front of me. The school is in your hands.
What makes time valuable is that it doesn’t last forever, what makes it precious is that it always comes to an end.
And as my time at Rockport comes to a close, I couldn't be more grateful for every memory it has given me, the good, the bad and everything in-between.
While scary, the change is good. Without it, id still is the same little boy who was scared to be himself. Sitting at the top of the lane fearing what was to come on his first day of school
As I leave this school next week, I will be carrying these memories with me into the real world, and I will know then that they have made me into the man that I am today.
As I wrap this up, I would like for you to take a look around at your fellow classmates and consider how your generation of Rockportians will be remembered.
How do you want to be remembered? Because time really does fly. And If I can leave you with one piece of advice, it would be to make your mark and make the most of every minute.
Head Boy, Oli Whiting