Farewell Year of...

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1999 saw the Kosovo War, the introduction of the single European currency, Star Wars: Episode 1 and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and the building of the Millennium Dome. It also saw over 150 children in oversized blazers being waved goodbye to by their mummies outside the RMGS gates.
A lot has changed in the past seven years: a shed and bike rack have been replaced by the shiny new music block, Mr Decker has joined us, seemingly hundreds of science teachers have left us, and those little year 7s have blossomed into big year 13s. Most of them are still clinging on at RMGS too, and as their time here draws to a close, we at on the Overmark team felt it only appropriate to bid them a fond farewell, especially as they have been the source of several of our own reporters.

From the religiously attended General Studies lessons to the mayhem that is charity week, the last few years have been especially packed with memorable moments. The school has recently been invaded by pirates, gangsters moles, and 80?s fashion victims, and in true RMGS student fashion charities? bank balances have been the ones to benefit. Bugsy Malone, Gizmo, numerous concerts and of course Rock?n?Roll have all starred members of this talented year group, which has also borne many sporting and academic achievements.

But how have they found their time here? Is RMGS really the bed of roses it?s cracked up to be? Will it be remembered as the centre of learning and people-moulding that it would like to be, or as a slightly smelly, personality-restricting hole? When asked how they would remember their time here, we received the following responses from a some typical year 13s:

?I wish I COULD remember my time at RMGS?

?Crazy as f*ck! Yet with some of the most interesting and lovely people you will ever meet! We?ve gone through a dramatic change from tiny, stereotypical year 7's to amazing individuals!?

?There are many reasons I would like to move on and forget RMGS: attempts to control individuality, too much focus on academic achievements, routine, routine, routine! And, oh God, early mornings! Who wouldn't want to forget all that?! However there is no way I could not miss RMGS! Not for any geeky, intellectual reasons, but for the people I've met along the way who I don't think I will ever be able to, or want to, forget!?

?And lets not forget those few...and I stress FEW... amazing teachers who were crazy, in a good way and are part of the reason I almost feel sad leaving!?

?The school tries to turn you into a work machine, the stereotypical grammar school students....doesn't work however! It's all the friends you make and the teachers that are the right balance of 'teacher' and people who are more like friends who can relate to students in a different way to those high up in authority that help you mature and turn you into someone who is ready to tackle 'the after school life.?

So it would seem that there are, unsurprisingly, mixed reactions to leaving the school. But one this is for sure ? it won?t be a seven years that will be forgotten!

So all that remains is for Overmark, on behalf of the rest of the school, to wish our leavers the best of luck everywhere they go after RMGS. Here?s to the Year of ?99 ? may they live long and prosper.