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The Importance of Prize-Giving

26 juni 2014

I’ve been lucky enough to attend three ceremonies this week that rewarded and celebrated academic success.

First were the Year 6 BISSCAs awards.  This recognises success in many areas of school life, but I was particularly pleased to see how many of the citations read out about our senior primary school students were for great achievement and effort in the classroom. 

Next we had the Key Stage 3 Prize-giving Ceremony, where we were able to hand out a large number of specially commissioned medals for academic achievement and for outstanding hard work throughout the year in all of the subjects we teach. 

Finally we finished off with Prize-giving for our Year 10 and Year 12 students, with medals and certificates to recognise great performances in the classroom.  This work by our Year 10 and Year 12 students is especially important as we are starting to look ahead to very important exams next year for them at GCSE and the IB Diploma.  It was marvellous to have an opportunity for us to shake so many students by the hand and to say “Well done”.

As I said to the parents and students at the last of the three gatherings, we hold these ceremonies for two reasons.  Firstly, we like to celebrate success in all its forms as publicly as possible.  This is just a great thing to do and it’s one of the most rewarding things about working in a school.  Secondly, we want everyone to revel in learning, to value it as an activity and to think that it’s a “cool” thing to do.  This is the joy of being at school: we – students and teachers – exist in an environment where we can spend our time learning about all sorts of interesting events and ideas.  The ancient Greeks, Socrates and Aristotle, for example, knew this.  They both identified learning as the ultimate pursuit of the virtuous and happy person.  So, when it happens well, we want to celebrate and encourage it, and so we gather together and give out medals.  It’s a great way to end the term.

- Stuart White, Vice-Principal