September 18, 2017
The annual Prizegiving Ceremony held in St Albans Abbey celebrated the achievements of pupils throughout the School. With record numbers of A and A* grades at A Level in the summer, no fewer than 38 students gained A Level Governors’ Awards, given to pupils who gain at least 3 A* grades and one A. However, along with the numerous subject awards and achievement prizes, this year there were also awards for pupils who have been exemplary in upholding the School’s values of empathy, integrity, humility, self-discipline, accountability, courage, courtesy and ambition.
The Ceremony also celebrated different aspects of pupils’ activities and learning, with pupils addressing the audience in French, German and Spanish, a Sixth Form girl speaking about her rewarding experiences on the Partnership Scheme with a local primary school, two tourists talking about what they had gained on and off the field on the South American rugby tour, and two musicians delighting the audience with an accomplished CPE Bach duet for flute and violin.
In his speech, the Headmaster Jonathan Gillespie also stressed the values of academic accomplishments beyond the confines of the examination-led curriculum, highlighting the numerous awards gained by pupils in Challenges and Olympiads in different subjects, as well as individual research and essays.
This was a concern picked up on by the evening’s guest speaker, Roger Mosey, Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He spoke warmly of the values of education in the improvement of both the individual and society, leading to a fuller understanding of the world and developing ways of solving complex problems. Striking an optimistic note, he suggested that in the current darkening world view dominated by division, polarised debate and political tension, he saw hope in the potential of young people, educated and idealistic, to make the world a better place.