Year 6 Graduation Speech Mr Sommerville
18 Jun. 2017

Year 6 Graduation Speech Mr Sommerville

This week marks the end of your primary education. Congratulations – you made it- Whether you spent the last 6 years here or elsewhere, you made it through 240 PE and music lessons, 1080 English Lessons, Maths Lessons and lunchtimes… unless you were otherwise detained…  2160 Roll Calls. You might have issued 360 library books – and returned them all of course.  You made it through 3240 line ups and 6480 School bells.

Congratulations – because you are still standing… and you are about to start one of the most exciting times of your life. Exciting because over the next 6-7 years you get to choose more and more of how your life’s going to turn out. You choose more and more of what subjects you’ll study, what sports you’ll pursue, what kind of friends you’ll have. You’ll choose, what you’ll do after you finish school for good this time, and what kind of person you want to be.

And how do you make the most of those choices? Make good smaller choices.

Choose to work hard. Whatever way you put those 2 words together, work hard, or hard work, the message is the same – nothing of value will come without it.

Choose to not give up easily. Resilience will get you everywhere. JK Rowling was so poor she couldn’t afford a computer or even the cost of photocopying the draft of the Philosopher’s Stone, so she manually typed out each version to send to publishers. It was rejected over 20 times until finally a small London publisher, gave it a second chance, the rest is multi-million-dollar history.

Choose to listen. As I always say, you have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason – use your ears twice as much as your mouth. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn.

And above all, choose to be kind. Kindness cost nothing –  it’s what people remember. Winston Churchill said “You can make a living from what you get, but you’ll make a life from what you give.

I could go on, but choosing those four will let you have choice in all the big decisions you have to make later on.

So how to finish. Maybe Dr Seuss can help me – Remember this:

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself 
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, 
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

You’ll be on y our way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes  you won’t

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the wolves they will howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your challenges
whatever they are.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Sabine or Vian or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Tarq O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Go well Year 6, only  25 school bells to go.

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