‘A great moment of pride’ was the way Professor Nick Foskett, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University and the visiting speaker, aptly described Prize Giving last Friday. The achievements and range of interests of the prize-winners certainly bore him out.
The Headmaster emphasised that the prizes had been fiercely competed for. The citations were impressive; our students have been offered places in top universities, and they were being rewarded on Friday for their ‘excellence in scholarship’. There were the keenly-fought individual prizes for academic subjects, and then there were the Competition Prizes, which had been awarded for individual essays, presentations or performances. It was good to get a glimpse of the range and complexity of the subjects covered: a presentation on ‘round triangles’, the relationship between science and spirituality, whether water pricing reflects its scarcity, and performing a ‘spell’ , for the esoteric McEachran prize. Also notable were the prizes awarded to individuals who had made a mark in person: the student who is going himself to judge a Prep School Creative Writing competition, the student who has befriended a 97 year old on her weekly visits to a nursing home, and this year’s recipient of the Guy Lovett Award, for ‘the qualities of courage, resolve and concern for others.’
The Headmaster quoted Bacon, who talked about ‘the hurt of learning’, but it was the resulting pleasures that we were able to celebrate, as both speakers agreed that both school and university should embody ‘The pursuit of truth in the company of friends’.
Please also see the full programme for Prize Giving 2012 for more information.