Speech Day and Prize Giving 2015
Wednesday 1st July 2015
On Saturday 27 June, the community of Queen Anne’s School came together for their annual Speech Day and Prize Giving ceremony to celebrate the end of the academic year.
The guest speaker and prize giver was mechanical engineer and TV presenter, Dr Shini Somara. Shini Somara is a passionate communicator in the world of science, technology and engineering, effortlessly transforming the complex world of cutting edge science and emerging technology into fascinating television. Shini’s mission to communicate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) has seen her reporting on major scientific stories, from climate change to health and breaking engineering news, as seen on a diverse range of networks including the BBC, BBC World News, BBC America, Discovery International and Sky.
The morning began with performances from members of the school’s talented and lively Saxaholics and Saxability groups, followed by a fantastic version of “Hey Jude”, performed by Izzy Sasada on the saxophone, and a beautiful classical piece, performed by violinist, Camille Morana. Vice Admiral Peter Dunt, CB DL, Chair of Governors, then welcomed pupils, parents and guests to the celebrations.
The theme for this year’s Speech Day was “our inner compasses”, which featured throughout Mrs Harrington’s speech.
Mrs Harrington began by talking about how Queen Anne’s have established core values to help give pupils strength and direction for their future lives, saying, “we strive to embrace a passion for life, independence and happiness achieved through trust, respect, honesty, tolerance and compassion.”
She also recapped some of the highlights from the last academic year, focusing on how the girls have been adopting the school’s core values into their everyday lives and also discussed plans for the future including the new Sixth Form Centre.
Throughout Mrs Harrington’s speech, guests were treated to drama performances from Francesca Coleman, Rosie Dart and Alice Knott, and the junior cast performed an extract from this term’s play, “The Wizard of Oz”.
Musical performances also featured during Mrs Harrington’s speech including the Lower School Choir performing a musical number from “Wicked” and the VOCES8 group showcasing their a cappella skills by singing a version of “Some Nights”. Lydia Marshall also took to the stage to perform a beautiful rendition of “Mein Herr Marquis” from “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss.
For the first time ever, Mrs Harrington’s speech included a dance performance featuring members of Queen Anne’s Twilight Dance Company. The girls performed a piece of dance entitled “Conscience” which explored the struggle between good and bad.
Towards the end of her speech, Mrs Harrington introduced a video, which had been specially created for Speech Day. The video featured some of Queen Anne’s girls talking about the school’s core values and what they mean to them.
Before presenting prizes to the girls, Guest Speaker, Dr Shini Somara, took the floor to deliver an insightful and inspiring speech to the audience. Shini spoke about her personal achievements in the world of mechanical engineering and encouraged the girls to follow their “inner compasses”.
Following the prize giving ceremony, during which Shini Somara congratulated each individual girl, the outgoing Head Girls, Connor Baldridge and Laren Tayyip, delivered an inspirational summary of their time at Queen Anne’s. The girls spoke about how important it is to celebrate our differences and how you should stay true to who you really are. The Head Girls’ speech was then followed by a performance from the Chamber and Consort choirs.
Throughout this academic year, Queen Anne’s have been raising money for the charity, Tutudesk, and the morning came to close with Mrs Harrington’s handing over a cheque for £10,000 to a representative from the charity. The Desmond Tutu Tutudesk Campaign aims to provide 20 million mobile desks, called Tutudesks, to children in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 and pupils from Queen Anne’s have also had the opportunity to design a desk on behalf of the school.
After singing “Jerusalem”, based on the poem by William Blake with music written by Sir Hubert Parry, guests were then invited to enjoy refreshments outside Michell House in the glorious sunshine. Pupils, parents and staff members enjoyed sparkling wine and strawberries as a jazz band, led by Dr Jonathan Beale, Teacher of Religion and Philosophy, entertained them.
As well as the jazz band, guests were able to enjoy a number of dance performances, including the flash mob, which featured pupils and staff members and following the recent GCSE and A Level Art Exhibition, the art department had put together an artist’s studio on Michell lawn, which showcased the work of our art students.