Senior School Prize Giving
Friday 30 June saw an afternoon of relaxation and celebration, as Senior School and Sixth Form students and their parents and guardians gathered together for our annual Prize Giving ceremony. We were delighted to welcome Suzi Digby OBE as our guest speaker (some of you will recall that Suzi adjudicated at this year’s Young Musician of the Year and Young Pianist of the Year competitions). An internationally renowned choral conductor, choir master and music educator, Suzi explained: “There is nothing I'm more passionate about than young people and their education, and their development as complete human beings”.
One of the distinct highlights was Suzi’s recognition of how much we value music education here, but also her insight into our school being “a wonderful example of a caring and enlightened environment that nurtures talent and personality”. Mentioning that the test of a good speech is whether in 30 years’ time people in the audience can remember one thing from it, she encouraged students to get in touch with her in 2047 to let her know what they could remember.
Suzi explained that her own life has been very full and privileged, and sometimes life has been tough too – but that it's usually the tough, uncomfortable times that lead to real, personal growth. Drawing a comparison with wine, she highlighted that grapes grown in the most arid soil produce the finest wines, and so too encountering a tough environment can encourage young people to blossom.
On happiness, Suzi drew attention to the times in her life when she was most deeply, lastingly and totally happy being the times when she was able to finally see the results of sometimes months of working incredibly hard at something – particularly if it enriched the lives of others around her. She encouraged the girls that “each time you break through a glass ceiling and achieve something that other people think you can't, you build up your self-esteem by another brick. You go further down the path of knowing who you are, being comfortable with who you are and showing that version of who you are to others around you”.
Whilst Suzi gave the girls some sage advice for their time beyond school – that to be successful each of us needs to work hard; ask for help whenever it’s needed; keep healthy; support our friends; find a role-model; and make music (“if you don't play an instrument, find a choir. Nothing keeps you healthier in mind and body”) – above all else she urged the girls, drawing on Erasmus’ wisdom that “it is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is”, to be themselves.
It is exactly this – our students becoming their best selves, through discovering talents and interests, working hard and being resilient in the face of disappointment – that we seek to celebrate at our annual Prize Giving. Those in attendance will know that we award for each year group a Prize for Progress and a Prize for Excellence in each subject, as well as one Governors’ Prize for Excellence in each year group. Some highlights from the ceremony are as follows:
Governors’ Prize for Excellence
Medeea G. (Year 7)
Eliza M. (Year 8)
Bella T. (Year 9)
Marianna G.O. (Year 10)
Daisy M. (Year 11)
Christina C. (Lower Sixth)
Sixth Form Service Awards
Caitlin J. (Upper Sixth)
Daisy K. (Lower Sixth)
Alice S. (Lower Sixth)
Millie K. (Upper Sixth)
Anna S. (Upper Sixth)
Ruolan Y. (Upper Sixth)
Charlotte Goddard Prize for Classics: Sophie Y. (Year 10)
Morag Chapman Creative Writing Prize: Lerato M. (Upper Sixth)
The Kay Dodsworth Award for Dance: Rebecca G. (Year 10)
Sr Christina Trophy for Lower Sixth English: Henrietta M. (Lower Sixth)
Mme Munday & Mme Francis French Cup: Mia R.B. (Year 9)
Susan Cattell German Cup: Lucy Q. (Year 10)
Hazel Pritchett Harris Award for Excellence in Mathematics: Cherry H. (Upper Sixth)
Quintus Benziger Music Prize: Cherry C. (Upper Sixth)
The Poetry Cup: Juliette L. (Year 7)
Sr Christopher Prize for Science: Natasha C-C. (Lower Sixth)
Sr Prisca Memorial Textiles Prize: Alice P. (Year 11)
Hope Gilbert Cup for Charities: Ellen C., Honora D., Isabelle L. (all Upper Sixth)
Alfred & Helen Jackson Trophy for Contribution to Ethos in Year 8: Grace J. (Year 8)
Judith Marr Memorial Cup for Year 10 Service to the School: Rosemary T. (Year 10)
Mary Ward Prize for Lower Sixth Personal Development: Gabriella B. (Lower Sixth)
Kodicek Prize for Contribution to the School Community: Megan W. (Lower Sixth)
Tuley Cup for Service to the School: Julie C. (Upper Sixth)
Grace Deng Memorial Prize for Excellence in academic standards, embracing all aspects of school life and making a positive contribution across the school community: Jesslyn F. (Lower Sixth)
St Mary’s Centenary Award for Exceptional Service to the School: Aisling H-B. (Upper Sixth)
Anna Ladds Technology Award: Bella T. (Year 9)
Special award for outstanding academic achievement: Selena Y. (Lower Sixth)
Ingrid Hoffman trophy for the all-round sports woman in the Sixth Form: Annie Q. (Lower Sixth)
View more photos from the Prize Giving in our gallery.