My time at CLC by Flora, Senior Prefect 2020

While being ushered into my very first day at CLC, brand new school books and pencil case in hand, I was told to watch out. My parents, my family, my primary school teachers told me that my time at this new school would fly by and soon enough I would be leaving ‘big school’ too. Of course I didn’t believe them, how could seven years of my life at somewhere completely unfamiliar slip by me; but somehow I sit here tapping away at my computer trying to understand that my time at Cheltenham Ladies' College really has come to an end.

This year will stand out to me as one to be remembered particularly fondly from my time at CLC, despite its premature ending. Kicking off with a ‘Climate Action’ chant rippling through the students at the whole school photo on Farnley Field, both students and staff have embraced the gathering momentum of the climate movement over the past year. It has been incredible to see the level of engagement with this issue with support for it coming from all sections of the CLC community. The mufti ‘dress up’ days, done to raise money for the four charities that CLC supported this year, also stand out in my memory, beginning with the ‘Heroes and Villains’ day. Seeing Voldermort, Greta Thurnberg and Emilio Barzini side by side singing ‘Shine Jesus Shine’ in Prayers was only closely matched by glimpsing Cruella De Ville and Princess Leya conspiring to acquire a second cheese straw at break time.

The focal point of the Autumn Term, however, quickly evolved into the highly anticipated Christmas at CLC, which, as usual, started very early. Top secret Staff Pantomime preparations, which naturally the whole school was aware of, the Prefect’s Carol singing and the divisional decoration competitions are all very happy memories of mine. The level of involvement in the Christmas fever at CLC is a testament to the enthusiasm and spirit of both the students and staff.

The Spring Term began with this same vigour, with the fabulous Dance Showcase and enthusiastic support for CLC’s charity auction ‘cBay’. The array of items available to bid for included masterclass ballet and lacrosse lessons, a prefect administering week long jump scares to a person of your choice, and the highly coveted ‘mufti day passes’. I am excited to see what items are added by next year’s prefects once school returns to a somewhat normal routine.

On that note, I would like to congratulate next year’s prefects and wish them good luck for the coming year. If your experiences are anything like mine, your year will be packed full of memories that will never leave you. However, this is also true of my entire time at CLC and I realise now, more than ever, that every ‘normal’ day I spent at CLC was something special. So to everyone returning to CLC in September, my one piece of advice would be to take advantage of every single day at school; it doesn’t matter whether that is setting up a new society, taking up fencing or singing the hymn at full blast – make it count.

I would also like to congratulate the Leavers of 2020 – we made it! Although our final year at CLC was nothing like any of us imagined it, I am incredibly grateful to have spent the time that I did in your company. From you, I have learnt the importance of being passionate, of taking action, of resilience, strength, and laughter - qualities that have defined my experiences here at CLC. I am comforted by the idea of leaving CLC with this Class of 2020 because even though our norms have been exploded and it is clearer than ever that the world we live in is in desperate need of real change. I know that the people that I have spent the last seven years with here are the people that can and will make a difference to the world we live in.

Thank you to everyone who has made my time at CLC so important and good luck for your next adventures – I know they will be brilliant.

Flora, Senior Prefect 2020