By Tim Nuttall
Last Friday night, students at Withernsea High School celebrated the end of their GCSE exams in style as they dressed to impress for the annual Year 11 Prom.
The event is a firm favourite in the school’s events calendar – providing a final opportunity for the year group to socialise en-masse before going their separate ways into further education, training or employment.
After being held for many years at the Country Park Inn on Hessle Foreshore, a change of venue for this year’s event saw the Prom move back to Hull’s MKM Stadium for the first time since 2010. The move tied in with the formation of a new organising committee which, after working closely with Year 11 throughout the past year, was well placed to make sure the students had a night to remember.
The school’s successful rewards system once again proved to be an effective incentive by helping a large proportion of students to receive money off their Prom tickets. This was achieved by the collection of Prom Points throughout the year, earned through positive behaviour, hard work and meeting expectations, with points thresholds being set to unlock discounts.
On Prom night itself, and in keeping with tradition, many students first gathered at the school to pose for photographs with friends and family before making their way to the event in a variety of hired vehicles. Not even Hull’s current traffic woes could dampen spirits as the cohort made their way to the event.
A party atmosphere, ably assisted by the venue’s resident DJ, kept students on the dancefloor
all night, with karaoke, a photobooth and interactive games providing additional entertainment.
Keen to bring fresh ideas to the table, the relaunch of the Prom brought with it the addition of an awards ceremony, the Lighthouse Awards, which was a hit with staff and students alike.
Charles Little, event co- organiser and Year 11 tutor lead, said: “The Prom provided
a chance for the students to get together and celebrate socially, giving them an opportunity to spend time with each other and see the teachers who have supported and cared for them for the last five years.
“The Lighthouse Awards were a real highlight of the night, with staff having spent the past couple of weeks voting for winners in a variety of categories. It was clear from the categories. It was clear from the response of students on the night response of students on the night that they appreciated these awards that they appreciated these awards and really got into the spirit of and really got into the spirit of the occasion.
“There was a fun and friendly atmosphere throughout the event, and it was clear from the
feedback we received that it’s a night that they will remember for a long time to come. The students were a credit students were a credit to themselves and to the school.”
Olivia Hunter-Robinson, the event’s other co-organiser, added: “It was a pleasure to help put the Prom together for the Class of 2023. Lots of students made a point of coming up and thanking us at the end of the night and we received some lovely comments from parents too. At the end of the day, the event is not about us – it’s about the students and we are so pleased that they all enjoyed themselves.”
Mark Crofts, head teacher, said: “It was absolutely brilliant to see so many students this year’s Prom and it was a great way for them to round off their time with us.
“The substantial number of students who secured money off their ticket through our rewards system is testament to the hard work and commitment to learning that has been displayed at a pivotal time in their education.
“I would like to thank the organisers – Charles, for his efforts to make it a memorable occasion, and Olivia – for her sterling work before, during and after the event.
“I am sure that our year 11 students have ended their high school years more confidence in their abilities, greater resilience, and are better equipped to cope with difficulties. We hope their eyes have been opened to the possibilities of what they can achieve in life. My wish for them all, whatever path they take from here, is that they seek out all the possibilities that life offers and have the confidence to make brave and exciting choices.
“This is the end of one phase, but it is also the beginning of a new and exciting chapter. Good luck and best wishes to them all.”
Many more photos in our print edition! Call 01964 611582 to order any as prints