Give &,

Speech Day 2022

Our annual Speech Day was held on Thursday 15th December 2022. The school’s choir greeted the students and guests as they entered the hall with Christmas Carols.

Colin Smith, Chair of the Local Governing Body, welcomed the audience and Mr Garrity, Headteacher, then introduced his ‘a world of opportunities’ presentation. Prize winners were announced by Mrs Allen, Head of Sixth Form and prizes were awarded by the guest of honour and former QEGS student, Sam Keeling. In his inspirational address, Sam talked about his experience of school and his time since leaving QEGS in the world of engineering.

Prayers were led by The Revd. Duncan Ballard and everyone retired to the dining hall for refreshments.

The event was live streamed, and a recording is now available to watch using the link below.

Photographs taken during the event will be displayed here in the new year. 

Speech – Mr S Garrity, Headteacher

Welcome everyone to our first ‘normal’, better than normal, Speech Day since lockdown, limitations on audiences and virtual school events. I am Mr Garrity and I am so proud and honoured to be here this evening as your headteacher.

Whilst we may not be under restrictions, we do appreciate that there has been quite a bit of illness this autumn and we hope you are all well or joining us from the comfort of your own home via the live link.

Here onsite, we have our prize winners, their parents and family members, our staff, our governors, our sponsors of prizes, and our invited guests from the community. On stage, we have our chair of governors – Colin Smith, our Trust CEO Anne Martin, head of sixth form Louise Allen, Assistant Head Steve Bembridge and our special guest and presenter of prizes, Sam Keeling – welcome Sam.

Sam, it is a real honour to have you as our guest speaker and I know that as an ex-QEGS student, this means a lot to you and your family.

Sam will be speaking to us a little later, about his time at QEGS and beyond. About the challenges and successes he has experienced and how he has seized the opportunities that have been available to him. Such a fantastic journey of breaking down barriers, I know our guests will want to hear your story Sam.

‘A world of opportunities’ is our theme for this Speech Day. Now that the world and travel have opened up again, we know that our students can succeed anywhere in the world and they have so much talent to offer.

Our prize winners embody the determination and motivation needed to succeed, they are also ‘good people’, kind, caring and generous – qualities which will help them to be happy in life.

Our 2022 students should be very proud of what they achieved, particularly as this was further recognised at the weekend when we were listed by the Times as 2nd in Derbyshire and 10th in the East

Midlands for GCSE, A level and BTEC results for 2022 – a phenomenal achievement, well done.

This evening we are celebrating subject success, supporting the community, developing a talent, thinking of others and demonstration of the 4 QEGS values. Question, Explore, Give and Succeed.

Our values have been tested to the max with our expansion plans and new build. It has been far from easy; in 2017 no money and no planning permission. 5 yrs later after 100s of hours of meetings and a desire and commitment to just ‘go for it’, with lots of support from ARUFC (thank you) and the community as a whole. It is not quite complete – here is a short video of the journey so far and what we hope to have finished by the end of January.

Video 1

We are committed to a well-rounded and broad education at QEGS and here in this short video are just a few of the highlights from 2022 – with a little surprise appearance at the end!

Video 2

The surprise as you could see was Mrs Betty dancing (with Miss Ward, apologies Miss Ward for embarrassing you too!).

This Speech Day will be Mrs Betty’s last as QEGS Deputy Head as she relocates with her family and starts a new job in January as Deputy Headteacher of Lordeswood Girls School in Birmingham.

She has been an amazing colleague, with us for 14 years, starting at QEGS as a newly qualified teacher and progressing to Deputy Head. She will be sadly missed by us all at QEGS and warmly welcomed at her new school I am sure.

I want to thank the students, staff and the whole community for continuing to support each other and for showing that they really do care. I feel honoured to be the headteacher of this school. Let’s hope that 2023 is another amazing year.

Have a fantastic, festive, family break.

Take care. Thank you.

S. Garrity

Mr Bembridge, Mr Garrity, Mrs Martin, Sam Keeling & Colin Smith
The School Choir
Sam Keeling, Guest of Honour
Colin Smith, Chair of the Local Governing Body
Mr Garrity, Headteacher

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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Ashbourne Derbyshire