Wednesday 8th July saw the school hold its annual awards event: Celebration Evening!

Before entering the School Hall for the main event, parents, carers, staff and students nibbled on canapés and sipped cold drinks (kindly produced by Mrs Bimpson and several of her catering classes) surrounded by fabulous artwork (expertly curated by Ms Cookson and Miss Bailey) and immersed in a euphony of classical music from Ethan Mitchell, Hannah Best and Simran Prakash. As a surprise ‘added bonus’ this year, we also witnessed a whirlwind of ballroom dancing courtesy of Shannen Stocks and her competition partner. What an incredible performer- as dazzling as her many sequins! Surely Shannen is destined for ‘Strictly’ in the future: watch this space!

The Hall was effervescent with expectation and excitement; the assembled crowd settled down to the melodious and soothing sounds of Year 7 pianist Gabrielle Styles. An amazing talent for one so young. We went on to enjoy a diverse range of acts: French poetry readings, a Year 10 rock band (with an utterly dizzying Ewan Soehren on the cajon, no less!), musical theatre, power pop ballads, an a cappella group performance and one amazing gymnastics and dance combination (thank you to Sophie Frith, Eve Wallwork-Jones and Jessica Lott). Even the vaguely shambolic compere for the evening, Assistant Headteacher Mr P.H. Groves, couldn’t dampen the atmosphere with his ‘dad jokes’ (cringe) as much as he tried. A pale, if somewhat chunkier, imitation of Mr Brittain, many observers remarked. Come back, Mr B!

The many outstanding performances (apologies but we simply can’t include all performers’ names in this short report!) punctuated the awards themselves as over 90 students received prizes celebrating their academic, pastoral, personal and sporting achievements over the last 12 months. Our students, as always, shined. Their buttonholes a symbolic token for these brilliant young people. Many a proud parent, grandparent, carer, teacher, mentor and friend swelled with pride as our students collected their richly-deserved awards. It should also be noted that this year’s awards, which looked literally radiant, were designed and manufactured in-house by Mr Heaton using the school’s state-of-the-art laser cutter and translucent yellow perspex.

Many thanks to absolutely everyone who attended, and particular thanks to our Progress Leaders (Mrs Brearley, Mrs Tanner, Miss Appleby, Miss Butler), Assistant Headteacher Mr Brown, Rotary Club representatives, Headteacher Mr Hunt and Chair of Governors Mr Heald for presenting the awards. Many thanks also must go to Mrs Porteous, Mr Simms and Miss Longden for their time and energy spent preparing the acts for Celebration Evening 2015.

Finally, our thanks must go to Mrs Scott, Mr Morris, Miss Cunningham and especially Mrs Sullivan: without whom the evening simply wouldn’t have happened. As an aside, we wish Mrs Porteous and Mrs Scott all the very best for the future: they have always been an integral piece of these special evenings and we will miss them both dearly. Anyway, toodle pip and see you all next year!

Mr Peter Harold Groves
Assistant Headteacher and (sacked) Part-Time Compere