Over the last two weeks 450 Year 6 pupils across all nine Andover junior schools dressed up in mortar board and gown to take part in the Andover Junior Graduation ceremony at The Lights.
The children were joined by nearly 1,000 parents and carers and hundreds of teachers. This annual event, now in its 6th year for all Andover junior schools, is organised and funded by Test Valley Borough Council, and aims to raise the aspirations of the children as they move forward from primary to secondary school.
The Worshipful the Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Jan Lovell presented each child with a certificate from the University of Winchester to celebrate their achievement. They also received a portrait photo with their head teacher or form teacher. As is traditional the pupils celebrated by throwing their mortar boards high into the air!
The head teachers of the town’s three secondary schools were also present at the awards to welcome the students into the next stage of their education.
Tom Donohoe head teacher of Anton Junior School, said: “The junior graduation event was an excellent way of encouraging children to continue learning and to consider university education, alongside other routes.”
Councillor Ian Carr Leader of the Council, said: “Since we started Andover Junior Graduation we have helped 2,700 pupils celebrate their achievements as they move up to secondary school and find out what university has to offer.”
“A university degree is only one route to continuing in education, apprenticeships are another but in tomorrow’s world, where many technological roles have yet to be created education and training is essential to enable people to reach their full potential. The Council is grateful to the University of Winchester for contributing to the event and for working with the family of Andover schools, secondary and primary, throughout the year and for the great event Andover Junior Graduation has become.”
The schools are supported throughout the year by the University of Winchester, and the graduation event is designed as a fun way to mark the end of primary school and to encourage children to continue their learning into the future by considering university education, alongside other routes, such as apprenticeships.