Headmaster Year 13 Leavers’ Tribute – 17th June 2021, Ratcliffe College Chapel.
I wish to pay tribute to you all, the class of 2021. My tribute focuses on the Gospel Value of Hope. As your time as a student at Ratcliffe draws to a close, it is appropriate and important to acknowledge your contribution to our School community over many years.
You are, and have always been, a fantastic bunch, full of energy, optimism and Hope. Throughout your Ratcliffe careers, you have given freely and generously of your time to the College community both in and out of the classroom. I am confident that each and every one of you has benefitted immeasurably from your time at Ratcliffe. I know that you have been inspired by your teachers as well as each other, and that your experiences at Ratcliffe have helped to mould you into fine young people who epitomise our vision of Strength Mind, Strength of Values and Strength of Purpose.
You are a talented and well-respected group of young people who leave Ratcliffe full of optimism for the future, full of Hope for your generation. You are a group of young people who have a strong sense of who you are and your purpose in the world. You are a group of young people who will be the leaders of the future and who are equipped to go forth and make a positive difference to the communities in which you live and work.
Hope is, therefore, very much part of our Mission as a Catholic School. Here at Ratcliffe we are proud of each and every one of you, not just those who achieve well academically or who gain access to a renowned university. The most important part of our role as teachers is how we mould young minds. Blessed Antonio Rosmini, our founder and great advocate of Catholic education, worked tirelessly to bring to fruition his Hope that young people left education with far more than examination grades. His Hope was that they departed with a real sense of community, love, service and sacrifice. I believe he would be very proud of you today.
Your School is a place of great optimism and opportunity. It is a place to be listened to, a place to be cared for and to care about, it is a place to be heard and to be taken seriously, it is a place where you are valued for who you are and what you can do and not judged on what you cannot, it is welcoming of all, a place for you to find yourself and to find God and there-in lies Hope, Truth and Goodness.
You, the Class of 2021, have played your part in our Mission and Vision and you are now ready for the next phase in your life.
Whatever you do, wherever you go, always remember you are a Ratcliffian, full of Hope.