On Friday 15th September, as the 2017-2018 School year had just got into full swing, the School community came together at the Sage Gateshead for our annual Prizegiving. The event is always an exciting occasion: an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the many and varied successes of the previous school year.
This year, we were thrilled to welcome as our Guest Speaker Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, MBE. Maggie is a renowned scientist and broadcaster and is referred to as the BBC’s ‘face of space’ presenting the popular programme The Sky at Night. Maggie gained a degree in Physics and a PHD in Mechanical Engineering and has worked for the MOD on missile warning systems and aerospace giant EADs on a range of projects to measure the earth’s atmosphere. Maggie’s aim is to inspire the next generation of physicists and we were all eager to hear her speak.
Maggie lived up to expectations and was not only incredibly inspirational, but also hugely entertaining as she regaled the audience with the story of her own journey through school and her career – from a small girl who dreamed of meeting her heroes (The Clangers!), to the successful scientist she is today.
Maggie believes in pursuing your dreams – even if they may seem completely out of reach – and encouraged our girls to do just that. A fantastic message for all our girls, whether they were one of the Year 7s in the audience, attending Prizegiving for the first time, our 2017 Leavers who were collecting A Level results before heading off to university, or any stage in between.
It was also a message that was particularly fitting with Mrs French’s own speech which reflected upon the previous year and the ways in which School works to enthuse, inspire and empower girls to achieve their potential.
The audience also enjoyed a delightful array of performances from girls: a thought-provoking recitation of What we build by Year 13 Madeline Carter; a space-themed dance choreographed by talented Sixth Former Wulfrun Godson; a beautiful solo by violist Connie Hayward in Year 8; a lively rendition of the Star Wars theme tune by our Jazz Band; a duet by seasoned performers Year 13s Amelia Foo and Charlotte Appleton of Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide and a charming performance of Girl with the Flaxen Hair by Ella Talbot on the piano.
Prizegiving was a thoroughly enjoyable event and the evening was rounded off with refreshments and conversation. Thank you to all the parents and other members of the school community who came along to help us celebrate the girls’ successes.