and gentlemen, special guest, and, most importantly, students,
I am delighted to stand here and present my 7th Prize Giving
speech reflecting upon the most outstanding year in John
year 2005-06 was one of incredibly high level of success
for the school and our students. It is this that we are
here to celebrate tonight: individual achievement in examinations,
sport, music, drama; awards for contributions to team success
and active participation in the wider community.
are many ways to assess school effectiveness and whichever
measure you choose to use the achievement of these students
tonight is remarkable.
progress and value added measures saw us top the school
league tables at all levels.
unique measure of school success we use is foreign travel.
There are students here tonight who have been on school
trips to Paris, Betzdorf, Conde, skiing to Austria, a
food technology trip to Italy, Moscow, New York, Uganda
and South Africa. In all of these places they have been
excellent ambassadors for their families, their communities
and their school.
major event involving the school since 2000 has had the
students here tonight at the very heart:
welcomed the Queen in 2003 and were part of the lesson
met Ofsted inspectors in 2004 and 2005 leading to our
“Very Good” and then “Outstanding grading.”
of you were in the side winning the Brynley Jones rugby
have taken part in Bugs Malone, Guys and Dolls, Dracula
Spectacular, Frankenstein’s Aunt, and Much Ado about Nothing.
of our music concerts have involved you singing and/or
Art wall mural was painted by you.
first X-factor winner is also numbered amongst you.
have also all sat through my assemblies on Thunderbirds
and Fatty the Goldfish – a high point for you all, I know!
Many of you have returned recently from University and I
thought it would be useful to update you on how the school
has progressed since you left us:
new Sixth form have been fantastic. With Mrs Vinall supporting
them they have already raised over £3k for various charities
including local cancer charities and Barrs Court hydrotherapy
school has been working hard to become one of only a small
number of secondary schools in the country to achieve 3
specialisms. We will formally announce the results just
have secured the funding for a new Astro-Turf facility on
site. This should be built from the Spring Term.
here will know that teachers play a vital role in their
success and we are very lucky at this school to have many
outstanding teachers one of whom, sadly is retiring this
term after over 25 years service. Mrs Rose is in the audience
and I know she doesn’t like a fuss being made so we are
going to make a fuss and Mr Boyd is going to fight his way
through the crowd to give her these flowers on our behalf.
also want to celebrate another significant individual achievement
tonight for someone who doesn’t know about it. The Diana,
Princess of Wales Memorial Award is a UK-wide, inclusive
Award, which recognizes and celebrates innate qualities
such as courage in overcoming adverse circumstances. Anna
Price overcame the debilitating condition ME and is now
studying for success in Year 11. Her recovery has been all
the more remarkable as she has thrown herself with vigour
into the demands of the D of E scheme. An inspirational
young lady to whom we would like to present this award.
I would also like to commend the local community for their
support. Many of them are here tonight: church groups, primary
school partners, volunteer groups and those from local businesses
who never tire of me ringing them asking for money for one
project or another! Many look forward to it as the highlight
of their week.
have been very lucky in my headship to be surrounded by
excellent staff and also by excellent students. You all
rate as amongst the best of the best. In the future I don’t
want you to aim for success. You’ve achieved this with us.
Now your words and actions should make a difference as you
aim and strive, not for success, but for significance.
the words of Theodore Roosevelt, a former American President:
… “Imagine mighty things, even though there is a risk of
failure rather, than be amongst those grey souls who know
neither victory nor defeat.
of 05-06 we commend and salute you.