A Magnificent Speech Day to end a Successful Year Posted - 06/07/2019

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The sun shone in the sky as our 1500 guests arrived for the finale of the year, Speech Day, held in a large marquee on 12 acre. After refreshments and a chance for Upper Sixth parents and students to say goodbye to each other and staff members everyone was seated in the marquee.

After an animated musical introduction of Gershwin’s ‘I Got Rhythm’ from our Brass Choir the Chairman of Governors, Mike Wheeler, addressed the guests, praising the Headmaster and all members of staff for another magnificent and successful year at Reed’s. He spoke of his high hopes for the future with our recent merger with Ripley Court and also thanked the Governors for the time and expertise they provide to the School. Mike emphasised his gratitude to David Barnett, a Governor and long-standing supporter of our Foundation, who as Appeal President for 2018-2019, has raised the most of any other Appeal in the last 200 years by a long way!

Mark Hoskins, Headmaster, spoke to guests next announcing the exciting news that planning permission had just been granted for a new building to provide additional classrooms and science labs. Work on this building will commence in the summer holidays alongside the completion of the Sixth Form House refurbishment. He wished retiring and departing staff well in their new ventures and, lastly, offered some guidance to pupils with a quotation by Winston Churchill, “Never give in--never, never, never, never, in except to convictions of honour and good sense” asking them to use this sentiment with steely determination to succeed in whatever path they followed.

Following a musical interlude from our Jazz Orchestra playing ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ our Guest of Honour, Jon Snow, presented the prizes to all the commendable winners. Blathwayt did the double, winning both the Hopwood and Edmondson Cups for academic and sporting achievement. Hockey Captain, Isaac Farrant, collected the coveted Pugh Cup for best team on behalf of the 1st XI Hockey team who are Tier 1 national champions.

Addressing the audience after this, Jon Snow celebrated the significance of our School Values in both education and our wider lives. He drew on his own experiences to describe when resilience, compassion and integrity featured in pivotal moments in his own life and how they changed him for the better. He closed with some wise words which urge us to consider the environment in all we do and commit to making a difference: “Love yourself…love your family…love your planet”

The final ever performance of the amazing Sixth Form group, Electric Sofa, with ‘Forest Fire’ and ‘Planet Earth’ was a bittersweet moment - knowing that the band members are all dispersing across the world to follow their dreams, many of them with Music Scholarships to prestigious locations.

The School Captains, Serena Fleming and Tom Hancock gave the final voice of thanks. Serena said, “The most important quality I learnt at Reed’s was self-confidence; one of the hardest things to achieve but the many opportunities available at here at Reed’s made it entirely possible.” Tom reflected on the amazing support given to him by his teachers, stating “Reed's is so much more than exam grades; it’s the experiences here that shape you.”

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