GRADUATION: the act of graduating or the state of being graduated or the ceremony at which school or college degrees and diplomas are conferred.

Graduation, in its own way, symbolises life itself. You reach the peak of your current achievement and then you plunge down to the bottom of the ladder again.

As these photos show, the roller coaster ride can start early. We have two cute photos here of children in nursery graduating to big school! How exciting and you just hope they will remember that day.

As a 'big kid' you left the top of the ladder at pre-school just to become a humble junior at the next level. You are a senior a few years later and then you start secondary school - at the bottom of the pile again.

Then, of course, there is the first step in becoming a grown up. As a senior you are probably even allowed to wear different clothes to those below you. You have the recognisability that comes with being chosen as a prefect and the power is all yours.

That is until next year when you start university and back down the ladder you go!

Up again and it is graduation and you are at the top of heap - and then you get a job and so it goes on.

Judging by these photographs, however, it would appear that this roller coaster ride through life is a happy one for most - and we hope all these photographed are now in the jobs or education streams they wanted, or perhaps they have gone on a completely different tangent and found a new niche in life.

There is a good mix on these pages of different graduations - university, college, training courses and Open University.

Now there are other ways to work in schemes such as modern apprenticeships.

Modern apprenticeships give anyone over the age of 16 the opportunity to work in a paid job while undertaking workplace training in order to gain new and enhanced skills and recognised qualification.

Finally, congratulations to all those who have been graduated this year. We wish you all the best for your futures.