Speech Day and Prize Giving 2014

Monday 30th June 2014

On Saturday 28 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 entrepreneur and author Sahar Hashemi, OBE. Sahar Hashemi founded Coffee Republic, the UK’s first US style coffee bar chain with her brother and has also published a bestselling book ‘Anyone Can Do It – Building Coffee Republic from Our Kitchen Table’, the 2nd highest selling book on entrepreneurship.

The morning began with performances from a selection of Music Technology students and members of the talented and lively Saxoholics before Chair of Governors, Vice Admiral Peter Dunt, CB DL welcomed girls, parents and guests to the celebrations.

The theme for this year’s Speech Day was ‘game changing women’, a topic which featured throughout Mrs Harrington’s speech.

Mrs Harrington began by talking about how Queen Anne’s is preparing its pupils for a fast changing world and inspiring girls to be “individuals who can take on life, challenge injustice, stand up for rights, champion the underdog and build strength and confidence, whether you’re changing the world or life much closer to home.”

She also recapped some of the highlights from the last academic year, discussed the continued work with the school’s Life and Learning Programme and how the school is “looking ahead down the spy glass of the 21st Century”.

Throughout Mrs Harrington’s speech, guests were treated to drama performances from Madeleine Pavey (4) and Sophie McAlpine (L6) including Daphne Psarra (U4) and Anna Way (U4) performing a piece of slam poetry that they had written themselves.

Musical performances also featured during Mrs Harrington’s speech included Junior Guildhall School of Music student Gabrielle Woodward (U5) who performed her own composition specifically written to commemorate the anniversary of World War 1 and Camille Morana (U4), who has achieved her Grade 8 on the violin aged 13, performing Partita Number 2 by Bach. The final performance came from Queen Anne’s VOCES8 trained vocalists who performed their own composition of ‘Royals’ by Lorde.

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 nominating their favourite game changers and how they plan to change the game in the future.

Before presenting prizes to the girls, Guest Speaker, Sahar Hashemi, OBE, took to the floor to deliver a fascinating and insightful speech to the audience. Sahar Hashemi spoke about her experiences in business and passed on a number of key points of advice including, “it takes 15 years to become an over-night success!”

Following the prize giving ceremony, during which Sahar Hashemi congratulated each individual girl, the outgoing Head Girls, Saskia Hamilton-Bowker and Nilofar Samadi delivered an inspirational summary of their time at Queen Anne’s, describing the opportunity to represent the school as “a real privilege”.

The morning ended with a performance of ‘Jerusalem’, based on the poem by William Blake with music written by Sir Hubert Parry, all photographs, and sparkling wine and strawberries outside Michell House, which was enjoyed by all despite the wet weather conditions.

Please see below for a slideshow of photographs from Speech Day and Prize Giving 2014:

Created with flickr slideshow.