Our awards evenings are an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful achievements of our children. As headteacher, it is events such as these which provide an opportunity to reflect and acknowledge how pupils, parents and teachers have together created a culture in which our young people’s talents can grow in an environment where they feel safe, supported and cared for, as they try new activities and immerse themselves in new experiences.
As I prepared my speech on Sunday for the evening, it was an absolute pleasure to look back over the last academic year and to recall the many successes of our young people and to share a few of those many accomplishments with a wider audience.
Their achievements are so numerous, varied and impressive, that to select but a few for a 10-minute speech seemed a near impossible task.
However, what follows is a small snapshot of an education enriched through a stunning production of ‘The Wiz’; our Under 15 Girls’ Football team reaching the National Finals; Year 8 Rugby teams success in the East Riding Merit League; Year 9 pupils building wind turbines; our celebration of reading; Youth Dance coaching; the creation of imaginative Spanish Cuisine; our team and leadership building activities; our mathematicians meeting great national mathematicians or competing in regional competitions; numerous visits to examine coastal erosion, to see inner city regeneration or to explore the geothermal power stations and volcanos of Iceland; watching Olympic athletes train; sharing a love of poetry at the Poetry by Heart regional finals; being interviewed by local and national employers to develop skills and receive feedback; a Civil War re-enactment at the school and the firing of a canon; a music extravaganza performance from classical to modern pop; a visit to the Somme, the battlefields and the memorial at Thiepval; William Ackerley competing in the European Cup bike trails; a visit to the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre; our trampolinists securing three national awards; History pupils studying and visiting Helmsley Castle and Mount St Grace Priory; Joel Hallewell taking his first solo flight at age 16 and 100 pupils and sixth form students exhibiting their artwork.
And with 70 per cent of our pupils securing the Gold Standard of 5*A-C grades (Including English and Mathematics), 87 per cent achieving a ‘C’ in Mathematics and 74 per cent a ‘C’ grade in English, the results reflected a year I had so much enjoyed.
It is a privilege to lead this school. I can, within this column, provide only a glimpse into what I see every day.
For me, the joy is seeing our pupils every day in lessons and around school, as we challenge them to excel, as they respond to excellent teaching, immerse themselves in the numerous opportunities available and develop in personality, character and intellect to become highly successful individuals.