There were cheers, singing, prayers and even a few emotional tears as Tavistock College students celebrated the end of their exams.

The Year 11-cohort crowded into St Eustachius’ Church in the town centre earlier today, Tuesday, to receive their graduation certificates in a service led by the Rev Matt Godfrey (whose daughter was also graduating), with head of year Daniel Jacob officiating for the school and special guest, journalist Emily Wood of BBC Spotlight, giving a talk on her education and career.

Mr Jacob congratulated the students, saying their exams marked the end of a journey for themselves, their families and friends. And graduation was a major milestone in their lives that they would look back on as significant for the friends they had made. He thanked all colleagues for helping the youngsters reach their potential and acknowledged the support of carers, friends and families.

Emily said her career path had been unplanned. She advised students to persevere towards their goals even after setbacks and to seek work experience and voluntary roles once they had an idea of a future job.

James Buchanan, college principal, said it was his privilege to oversee the current Year 11 and praised them for their achievements, especially in the face of covid which had disrupted their learning.

Students Austin White, of Tavistock, Monty Roberts, of North Devon, and Ollie Houlberg, Joe Trimmer and Isaac Thomas, all of Yelverton, celebrated as friends and said they were looking forward to entering sixth form.

Isaac said: “I’m proud of what I’ve achieved at school so far and I’m relieved exams are over, but looking forward to sixth form. I’m going to study maths, politics, history and go into law.”

Ollie said: “I want to do maths, physics and chemistry and go into medicine or something to do with science.”

Angel Holland, 16, hopes to go into a science role after school and sixth form: “I’ve really enjoyed school. But it’s good to have a break after exams.”

Isabel Long-Booi plans on going into sixth form at Hele’s School in Plympton to study art and and psychology among other A-levels.

Jessica Cotton is going to Tavistock College sixth form to study drama, history and art and plans to work as an actor.

Ella Weeks is going to Tavistock College sixth form and study criminology, biology and business studies before getting a job to work with animals. She said: “I have loved school so far and made good friends but I’m looking forward to a fun summer.”

Maya Kearin, of Tavistock, will be studying business studies, tourism and travel at Tavistock College sixth form. She said: “I’ve really enjoyed school. It was a good ceremony and great to celebrate with all my friends.”

Enjoying the ceremony a Tavistock College GCSE graduation, friends Austin White, Monty Roberts, Ollie Houlberg, Joe Trimmer, Isaac Thomas.
Friends Austin White, Monty Roberts, Ollie Houlberg, Joe Trimmer and Isaac Thomas celebrate their graduation (Tindle)
Onto sixth form after Tavistock College GCSE graduation for Rosie Kendall
Rosie Kendall is happy to mark the end of exams (Tindle)
Relief and looking to the future at Tavistock College GCSE graduation: Angel Holland & friend.
Angel Holland and friend enjoying Tavistock College graduation. (Tindle)