Prize Giving at Bishop Thomas Grant School is always a wonderful occasion on which the many achievements of the school are celebrated, and this year’s event, held as usual in the Main Hall, was no exception.
Guest of Honour this year was Father Brian Coyle, Rector of St John’s Seminary in Wonersh, who earlier this month was made a Canon.
The evening was hosted by Head of Year 13 Mrs Levenson and Head of English Mr Brzezicki, with the initial address given by Vice-Chair of Governors Kathy Robinson MBE.
Headteacher Ms Boyle then took over to report on the school’s progress in 2015-16 and began by acknowledging now-retired Headteacher Mr Desa’s enormous contribution to the growth and success of the school during his 15-year tenure from 2001-2016, whereupon the audience responded with a spontaneous and long round of applause. Ms Boyle reminded the audience that the successes of the school need to be measured against its position as a comprehensive school serving the whole of the local Streatham community; measured against national standards the proportion of students with an educational care plan is above the national average, the proportion of students for whom English is their second language is significantly above the national average and a high proportion of students in the school live in areas with what are considered social and deprivation factors. Ms Boyle outlined the four top achievements of the school for 2016:
- The percentage of students achieving 5 grades A*-C including Maths and English is 86%, 27% above the national average.
- The percentage of students achieving A*-C grade in English is 93%, 29% above the national average.
- The A-Level pass rate of 100%, with an A*B pass rate of over 50%, makes the school top of the league at KS5 in Lambeth in the state sector.
- Government recognition that the school is one of the top 100 schools in the country.
Ms Boyle went on to describe the school’s manifold achievements in sport, music and extra-curricular activities including charity fundraising, with over £15,000 raised this year through a variety of activities and campaigns.
Prizes were then presented by Canon Coyle, with students Wiktoria Marcinkiewicz and Ashlyn Barry (pictured above with Mr Desa on Results Day 2016) receiving the Headteacher’s shields for Outstanding Contribution to the reputation of the school. Canon Coyle re-affirmed his congratulations to the students in his address, emphasising the importance of both leadership and co-operation in the shared endeavour of education. He also defined the school as part of the wider Catholic community, the Catholic Church, which is the presence of Christ in the world today. Looking at the school motto “Instaurare Omnia in Christo” he encouraged all students present to seek out their own special gifts in order to make a real difference in the lives of others.
The evening concluded with a vote of thanks from Head Pupils Andrea Iezekiel and Brendon Guest.
No Bishop Thomas Grant School prize night would be complete without a performance from The Chapel Choir, and there was also an excellent viola solo from Year 11 student Sarah Ritchie, along with a delightful and amusing medley from the popular Barbershop Boys.
Canon Coyle summed up the evening with his opening words, "There is a lot to celebrate in this fantastic school."
For a full transcript of Headteacher Ms Boyle's Prize Giving address please click here.