FROM funky flashing trainers to traditional floor-length gowns, the class of 2018 pulled on their finery to say a stylish ‘farewell’ to school.

Oxfordshire schools are in the swing of prom season, throwing swish parties to mark the achievements of their eldest students and the impending end of the academic year.

Teenagers from John Mason School in Abingdon and The Marlborough School in Woodstock are among those to have already had their proms, ahead of the official end of the school year on July 25.

The schools held the formal dances - a ‘rite of passage’ inherited from America - at Westwood Country Hotel near Boars Hill and Worton Park near Yarnton respectively.

John Mason School (JMS) headteacher Sarah Brinkley said: “Prom for TeamJMS is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the end of the examination period and to recognise the students’ years of hard work and dedication to school.

“They have shown us they are extraordinary human beings, and so prom has to be extraordinary too.

“From the outfits, location and small personal touches on tables – it is a chance to say ‘well done, we are so very proud of who you are.’”

Students at The Marlborough School enjoyed the theme of ‘Bond ball’, inspired by 007, and the venue was decorated with a black and gold colour scheme and dotted with Daniel Craig cardboard cut-outs.

Jess Jones, head of Year 13 at the school, thanked staff and several Year 12 students for helping to organise the dance.

She said: “With the hot weather and the excitement of exams being over, the school ball was a much-needed and well-deserved celebration.

“The dancefloor was packed throughout the whole evening, complete with dance-offs and a conga line, including a good mix of teachers plus all three year groups.

“The evening was unanimously agreed to be a fabulous, special and memorable event, just as it should be for our wonderful students who have worked so hard through their exams.

"The staff at Worton Park, including the security team, caterers and events manager, all took time to comment on how incredibly polite and pleasant the young people from our school are."

Not all students attending a prom will be set to leave in summer - many secondary schools with sixth forms, such as The Marlborough School, invite Year 11 students as well as Year 12 and Year 13.

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