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    Jan 2019 - Speech Day 2018

    The annual Speech Day of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School was held on Thursday 20th December. The school’s choir greeted the students and guests as they entered the hall with Christmas Carols.

    Helen Baker, Chair of Governors, welcomed the large audience and Mr Garrity, Headteacher, then introduced his ‘QEGS Amazing’ presentation (see below).

    Photos from the evening are now available to purchase.


    Photos from the evening

    Photograph Orders

    Prints of the above photos are available to order. There are three different sizes available:

    • 6"x4" (10x15cm) @ £3
    • 7"x5" (13x18cm) @ £4
    • 9"x6" (20x15cm) @ £5
    Please use the form below to submit your order. Photos will be printed once payment (via cheque) is received.

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    Speech - Mr Garrity, Headteacher

    Welcome to our students, our staff both past and present, our parents, our governors, our members of the community, our sponsors of prizes, and welcome to Jill Wesley representing the Woodroffe Benton foundation. Unfortunately, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant for Derbyshire William Tucker and our Chair of Trustees Max Jeffery are unable to be with us this evening but they send their best wishes to all. Welcome everyone to our 2018 Speech Day.

    Welcome to Ashley Spendlove - our guest speaker and presenter of this evening’s academic prizes; and in a little break from tradition, we welcome a second guest in George Tresidder, who will present our full sports colours this year.

    Ashley and George, it is a real honour to have you both here and I know that this means a lot to you and your families. Thank you for giving us your time today, particularly when you spoke to younger students and for your time this evening to attend this awards ceremony.

    Ashley will be speaking to us a little later on, about his life at QEGS and then beyond in the world of higher education and international business. Such a fantastic journey of experience and talent, I know our guests will want to hear your story Ashley.

    As George has a relatively non-speaking part tonight, I thought I would add a little context to his guest appearance. Firstly George, well done on the A* in GCSE Geography, you must have had a fantastic teacher!

    Of course you are not here for your geographical achievements but for your sporting achievement. George has not only represented QEGS on the rugby field but also at Leicester Tigers, England U16 and U18, and on December 6th this year he gained an Oxford ‘blue’ in the Varsity game at Twickenham. George, congratulations. For once, I am happy to celebrate and share the stage with a 'blue', well done.

    Ashley and George both represent the wealth of opportunity and talent that has been fostered and developed at this amazing school. Amazing, yes. I have no problem with the hyperbole for this school. In a town of only 7000 people with many surrounding small villages, the community and school work tirelessly together to ensure QEGS students are able to live, work, achieve and compete with the very best.

    What makes QEGS amazing? Lots of things, last year I spoke about the holistic educational experience and the range of activities on offer here and to not simply be an exam factory.

    This year, I would like to be more specific and I take my inspiration and reassurance from a conference I attended earlier this month. The theme of the conference was 'Pure Imagination' and it was aimed at senior leaders in education to look at how we provide creativity in our schools and the education system as a whole.

    The significant message for me was how no machine can completely replicate our ability to be creative and most importantly no machine can replicate our ability to dream. Being creative does not simply mean art, music and dance – being creative means solving problems with well thought-out solutions, doing more with less (in education we all know how that feels).

    Being creative is the ability and flair to work in groups and as a team, and yes being creative does also mean taking an interest in the arts which we are totally committed to supporting here at QEGS.

    Most importantly, we want our students and staff to dream; dream big; expect the best; know what they are good at, or find what they are good at and then make it even greater. A dream can be realistic or extremely optimistic, but to not have a dream is a void that will eat away at your happiness and contentment.

    How do we help our students to dream, we start small, catch them being good and celebrate their successes, there are many ways we do this and here is a new initiative we have started this year:

    • QEGS Amazing Video

    So, please do not dismiss your small actions and daily successes, just being a good, well rounded person is what makes you 'QEGS amazing'. Students, what is your dream? Try to live and breathe it every day.

    Well done on your successes, enjoy your festive break and I hope 2019 will be another 'QEGS Amazing' year for you all.

    S. Garrity, Headteacher



    Speech - Mrs Helen Baker, Chair of Governors

    Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Helen Baker, Chair of Governors here at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School. It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the 2018 School Speech Day and Awards Ceremony. Thank you for coming.

    We are delighted to welcome a multitude of students back tonight, as well as their parents, many staff past and present, plus representatives from the organisations that support the school - the Old Trust, Old Ashburnians, sponsors of prizes including the Woodroffe Benton Trust and JCB, Councillors, Trustees and Governors. This Hall is pretty much at capacity!

    Here on stage with me are Scott Garrity (our Headteacher), Matt Atkins (Head of Sixth Form), Steve Bembridge (a key member of our pastoral team), Anne Martin (Executive Head of the multi-academy trust) and also I'm very pleased to welcome two of our former students - George Tresidder, who will be presenting the sports awards tonight and Ashley Spendlove, who will be presenting the academic awards and who is our guest speaker for the evening.

    Tonight is about celebrating the successes of our students who are looking ahead to their future studies and careers in the 21st century. But here at school we've dedicated time this term to looking back to 100 years ago with a week of commemorative events marking the centenary of the Armistice. 24 soldiers who fought and died in WW1 had been students at QEGS - a significant number. Special thanks go to Trilby Shaw and Brell Ewart who have worked with the school to help the students and the town remember this historic time.

    Another student of QEGS who attended the school during WW2 deserves special mention tonight. Ian Stuart died last week aged 89 - he boarded during his time here and was often the only student to stay during the school holidays in wartime.

    The world today is immeasurably different from that 100 years ago. Jobs and industries exist that hadn't even been dreamt of then. Technology advances exponentially faster so the change over our lifetimes will be even greater. One thing that I think QEGS excels at is in giving its students the skills to embrace those changes - it doesn't just deliver well in academic terms but offers experiences in a wide range of areas - sports, many arts including music and drama , vocational training, volunteering opportunities and local community involvement. It is these skills, that give you self confidence and knowledge of what inspires you, in addition to academic qualifications, that will enable you to succeed in today's world.

    We celebrate this diverse range of achievements tonight with a host of awards, some long-standing and some brand new. Some have been donated by people and organisations who have played a special part in the life and history of this school and we are very fortunate to have the benefit of these legacies. Other prizes are new this year and we welcome the addition of these to our range of awards available. These particularly recognise the new vocational subjects studied as our curriculum grows to meet the needs of today's world.

    For those of you who were here last year, you may recall that I referred to the building expansion plans for the school. Student numbers are predicted to grow over the next few years but the school is planning ahead to manage this growth well. We have this term applied for planning permission for the new building proposals and more information will be available next year as progress is made. Therefore the message is very clear that there are spaces in all year groups for any students that wish to come here - QEGS is a school that serves its whole community and will continue to do so in the future.

    Back to this evening - the order for the evening and the individual awards are detailed in your programme. In addition to these, we are fortunate to have some musical items for you, performed by students from across the year groups, and there will be refreshments served in the dining hall opposite at the end of the formal proceedings so I do hope you can stay and join us for those. I'm sure you'll enjoy the evening. Thank you.

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