Prize Giving took place in the Chapel last Friday evening (13 November 2015). This is a very special event in our school year as it gives us the opportunity to recognise those who have excelled in a wide range of activities and to congratulate those girls collecting their GCSE and A level certificates. We celebrated not only our outstanding academic results, but also the many successes in music, sport, drama and art as well as rewarding effort, progress, achievement and school.
During the speech by the Headmistress, she reflected on the past year. Highlights included the 125th Anniversary celebrations, national success in the English Speaking Union Public Speaking competition, excellent academic results, sporting achievements and examples of new initiatives by staff and students. Mrs Buckle is retiring this year and is very proud to have overseen not only the school's growth and improvements in the facilities, but also a steady rise in academic and other achievements. She particularly emphasised Farnborough Hill's special ethos and concluded: 'Farnborough Hill is a wonderful place to study, to work, to grow and to be gently influenced by its Christian ethos and ideals. I am sure every girl here this evening understands more about herself and how she will make her positive mark on the world by having been a Farnborough Hill student. We are all very lucky - indeed blessed - to have found our way here.'
The prizes were presented by guest of honour, Mrs Jane Easton, the Director General of the English Speaking Union. She gave an inspiring address and complimented the students on their talent, dedication and sheer hard work as evidenced by the prizes and certificates awarded. She also thanked the Senior Choir for their wonderful performance and talked of her own love of music. She gave some background on the English Speaking Union and spoke of the academic rigour required for public speaking and debating. She believes that the key to discovering your voice is confidence; self-belief is vital. Mrs Easton concluded with four pieces of advice for the girls:
- Be yourself; God made you unique, have confidence in that.
- Listen carefully and intelligently. Understand what people are saying and then make your mind up how you respond.
- Social media is incredibly useful but don't live your life on it. The real world is the one that you share with your family and friends.
- Smile - it makes you feel good and those around you feel better.
In her vote of thanks, Head Girl Amelia Freeman said that it was a privilege to welcome Mrs Easton and an honour to receive prizes from her. She thanked her for the words of reassurance and advice saying that girls would heed the warning about social media and find the tip about listening particularly inspiring.