Tree Planting 2019

Posted: 8th May 2019

We can’t quite believe that it’s been a whole year since our last Tree Planting Ceremony. Every year our Head Girl plants a tree on the grounds of the school to symbolise her and her fellow students’ time at the school. Cara, the School Officer team and the Upper Sixth are almost finished with their time here and even though it’s sad to say goodbye, we encourage them to flourish in their next steps and on to the rest of their lives. The new Head Girl and School Officer team for the coming year was announced by Mrs Laybourn, and outgoing Head Girl Cara inspired them and the rest of the Senior School with her kind words.

“Having been brought up by an incredibly passionate English teacher, who will happily talk at great lengths about the symbolism in everything and anything, you could say I’ve had a bit of a symbolism overload. However, even I have to admit that the annual ritual of planting a tree is a very symbolic gesture.
It is the opportunity for myself and the school officer team to plant roots somewhere that has been so influential in shaping us into curious, passionate, resilient individuals, and we are massively excited about what the future has in store. When little Year 8 Cara joined six years ago, she didn’t quite realise what a jam-packed six years she was about to have, and quite what a supportive, influential, encouraging community she had stepped into.

This truly is a very special place.

It’s easy to take these days for granted but blink and next minute one of you will be here planting a tree and having a bit of a ramble, trying not to get too emotional. I’m going to take the opportunity to leave you with three things that I wish I could stress to that Year 8 Cara.

There are so many opportunities offered to you here, that you are hard pushed to find elsewhere. Grab them with both hands and give things a go; you are immersed in a community that will do nothing but support and facilitate the person you decide to be, so now is the best time to start exploring who that is.
I would remind myself to say thank you – it goes a heck of a long way, and I think we often forget how lucky we are.

And finally, the parting message that I really wanted to share is: be kind. The quote I have chosen for my plaque is ‘Kindness is the opportunity we all have every day to change the world.’ This school encourages and supports you in being unapologetically yourself – so appreciate and facilitate others because they, too, are just as awesome.

You’ve got one heck of a team taking our place next year and I wish them all the very best of luck. I’m sure there are many exciting things to follow. We’ve loved our time as school officers and will look back on our time at Burgess Hill with an immense sense of gratitude.

I hope everyone has a fabulous rest of the term and a relaxing summer to follow.”


Congratulations to the School Officer Team for 2019-2020:
Head Girl: Olivia Gunn
Deputy Head Girls: Mia Arditi and Sofia Comper-Cavanna
Boarding Prefect: Cathryn-Olivia Barton
Head of Austen: Freya Burleigh
Head of Pankhurst: Sorrel Peel-Yates
Head of Watson: Lottie Hinton
Head of Williams: Lucy Collins
Events Prefect: Hannah Dunsby
Outreach Prefect: Natasha Arbon-Stuckle
Charities Prefect: Emma Naunton

View the full Facebook album here.