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Shropshire college's graduation turns virtual

By Lisa O'Brien | South Shropshire | Education | Published:

With students and staff many thousands of miles apart, a Shropshire college marked end of term with an assembly and graduation like never before – delivered virtually.

Concord College principal Neil Hawkins

After weeks of preparations, staff at Concord College, in Acton Burnell, recorded messages of thanks and rewards to students who could not be at the campus to enjoy the occasion.

Individual pieces of assembly and graduation were formed together by Concord’s IT and marketing departments to make videos that students and staff could access remotely from all around the world.

Concord’s theatre was decorated with an audience of hundreds of college teddy bears which added to the momentous and unusual end of year celebrations.

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Principal Neil Hawkins said: “It was tremendous to have a final assembly in spite of the distance between us.

"It was important that we were able to share the end of the academic year as a community and to celebrate the dedication and talent of our students.

“The only thing that could have made it better would have been being together.

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"For this, we will have to wait until September.”

There was even a virtual roll-call delivered by Concord’s vice principal (academic) Tom Lawrence.

He said: “This has been a very difficult time for our senior students.

“Not only was their academic year cut short, but their whole school life was suddenly curtailed without warning.

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"Similarly, without the opportunity to experience the rites of passage associated with leaving.

“The online 6.2 graduation ceremony was our way of recognising each of the 2020 leavers and taking the opportunity to say goodbye.

"They were an outstanding cohort and we will remember them fondly.”

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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