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Welcoming back the Classes of 2016 and 2017

 

To kick off the new academic year, on Saturday 4 September, we were delighted to welcome the Class of 2016 (postponed from last year) and the Class of 2017 back to school for their Graduation Brunch reunions.

There were lots of squeals and laughter as well over 100 former students and staff reunited to catch up on each other’s news and future plans.

The event began in the PMH with teas, coffees, and a feast of croissants, sausage and bacon baps, fruit and other treats. A presentation of old school photographs elicited a few chuckles!

Guests included Head Girl, Megan Woods, and Head Boy, George Elliston, and House Captains, Ailie McGilligan, and Ciaran Nestor. We were also pleased to see RGS heroes, Hannah Garmston, who worked on the acute Covid ward at East Surrey Hospital at the height of the pandemic, and Ollie Driscoll, who was one of our RGS We Care volunteers, collecting and delivering shopping to local Reigatians who were isolating.

After picking up a glass of bucks fizz, we headed outside to the terrace outside the Harrison Centre for speeches.

 

A toast from the Headmaster

Headmaster, Shaun Fenton, began by toasting the Classes of 2016 and 2017, wishing them the very best now and for the future.

He then ran through some of the exciting changes that have happened in recent years, not least the opening of the Sixth Form centre which guests had been promised, but narrowly missed seeing come to fruition! He touched on the challenges of Covid, with lessons delivered via Microsoft Teams, and music and drama coming up with creative alternatives to large-scale performances.

Mr Fenton highlighted the RGS We Care initiative, collecting donations of food, stationery and clothing for local families in need, and delivering PPE to local care homes. He also touched on the exciting RGS International expansion, which provides connections across the globe.

There was a round of laughter and much nodding as Mr Fenton mentioned the joy of welcoming the new First Form students to school, with skirts down to their shins and blazers that they will grow into by Third Form!

Finally, he underlined the important message taken from the school song (guests looked a bit nervous that he was going to ask them to remember the words!) – of being a Reigatian Pilgrim on a journey of noble purpose.

 

The value of the Reigatian community

Head of Foundation, Sean Davey then spoke about the value of connecting and engaging with the wider Reigatian community – through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the Reigate Grammar School app – for introductions and support. Among those present, Thea Bridges has secured work experience at Jellyfish, while George Elliston, Joe Gregson and Paul Marshall found their current roles through the RGS Foundation office.

Former students then took the opportunity to tour the Harrison Centre, which they were all quite awed by! It was time for us to say goodbye, and for the exodus of former students heading into Reigate to continue catching up! We look forward to seeing them again in 2026 and 2027 for their 10 Years On reunions – if not before!

 

The Class of 2016

 

The Class of 2017

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