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Happy Speech Day and Prize-Giving rounds off school year

July 2nd, 2016

Slam poetry, social media-inspired prose, beautiful music and life saving medical training tools all made for a memorable finale to the school year.

Pupils, parents, governors and staff gathered at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls this morning for the annual Speech Day and Prize-Giving.

The guest speaker, Australian-born Margot Cooper, established Limbs and Things in 1990 to create three dimensional, dynamic anatomical models for use in hands-on medical training. The company now has a turnover of £12 million and a catalogue of 850 different products which are revolutionising the way medics train all over the world. To demonstrate how the models work, Headmistress Caroline Pascoe even strapped on a lifelike Limbs and Things arm for Head Girl, Reem, to draw blood from on the platform.

Mrs Cooper said: “I believe that boys and girls, men and women, in life and business can pursue anything they choose; it’s down to hard work from the beginning, believing in yourself and making use of your talents. We started out early on making simulators and models to strap on to people. We now design and manufacture 850 products for training doctors everywhere – in the military, paramedics. It’s been a long and fascinating haul.

“I grew up on a farm in Australia and used to ride my horse to school. We used to kill sheep every couple of weeks to eat. That’s where my fascination with anatomy started. I’d always pop down to have a look at all the innards which I found riveting. It was art and biology I loved at school and it was an aunt who suggested a career in medical art for me.”

Mrs Cooper moved from medical illustration to 3D modelling to establish her company. Now, Limbs and Things’ birthing models have helped to teach midwives how to deliver babies in the safest way possible, reducing health risks to newborns.

Mrs Pascoe channelled her inner lyricist to sum up HMSG’s fabulous success stories in a three-minute-long masterpiece of slam poetry.

Making reference to this year’s ‘excellent’ Estyn inspection, the girls’ sporting achievements and outstanding Beauty and the Beast musical, the proud Headmistress praised pupils and staff for their constant innovation and creativity.

Head Girl Reem, 18, was inspired by One Million Lovely Letters writer, Jodi Ann Bickley, to deliver her speech in the form of a letter to all of the guests.

With a theme of social media and online profiles running throughout her address, she said: “Be fearless when it comes to your future and care less when it comes to what people say about you. But most importantly, be grateful, be strong and confident by standing up for what’s right for you. Don’t settle for someone else’s profile; build your own. Whether it’s to become the next President, or simply to be a good friend.”

The passionate anti-bullying ambassador also had some advice for the younger pupils in the audience.

She told them: “If you miss something then you’re lucky; it means you had something so special in your life worth missing. Take time to enjoy these years, to find something you love and, with the support of your teachers, update that passion throughout the years. When you’re growing up, having a kind heart and genuine intentions will get you beyond the places you want to go.”

Moving musical performances from the HMSG Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Concert Choir complemented entertaining speeches from Chairman of Governors, Audley Twiston-Davies, and Richard Glover, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers.

Sixth former Jessica played a perfect rendition of Kicho by Astor Piazzolla on the double bass and Connie wowed everyone with a stunning version of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables. Prizes for outstanding achievements in academics, leadership, music, sports and the arts were awarded to hardworking pupils from each year.

Mrs Pascoe’s Speech Day Poem

Listen up:

Poetry? Nah, my forte was sciences,

Fusing appliances,

Statistical reliances.

Now the Head at HMSG,

It is easy to see,

The philosophy,

And value of creativity.

Where to start?

Well, of course, with the art!

It sets us apart,

We’re al a carte.

No house style,

We’re not juvenile,

We’re versatile.

Girls merge their scholastics

By working with plastics,

I ain’t sarcastic

When I say STEM is fantastic!


Listen up:

The HMSG choir,

Have you heard them singing,

Like some church bells ringing?

Smiles a brimming,

Tea concerts and St Catharine’s Day,

Eisteddford they say,

No horseplay.

One House will lead the way,

The Jazz band,

I don’t understand,

They’ve not been around.

Come on, we need you next year,

To say the least,

Beauty and the Beast,




The production hitting dizzy heights,

Like Northern Lights.

Wow it excites,

When it is a joint production!


Listen up!

The blisters, the sores,

It’s the great outdoors,

Navigating on the moors.

Why so many downpours?

We’ve been told

To brave the cold,

To hold,

Bronze, silver and gold.

Our sense of community

Brings so much unity,

A land of opportunity.

We are given dignity,

Boarder or day,

Does it matter any way?

We have our say,

HMSG cares for individuals.


Listen up!

But I hear you cry, ‘what about sport?’

Well there’s loads to report!

Schools Head – our four was the winning boat,

Keeping our reputation afloat.

I think we can gloat,

For beating Headington and LEH.

Not the best ever season for lacrosse and hockey,

But I’m not getting cocky

When I say that the netball team

Made us scream,

They were a dream!

Unlike Brexit,

HMSG is IN to exercise,

Come-on guys,

Work those thighs,

And open your eyes

To the success of golf, gymnastics, swimming, football, rounders and equestrian,

Next year don’t be pedestrian,

But raise your heart rate #thisgirlcan


Listen up!

Now with some sadness to those who are leavin’,

We won’t be grievin’,

But achievin’,

And believin’

That you really made a difference to us.

Have happy memories

Of cake and teas,

Of friends that tease,

Wow no more fees!

On this happy day,

My last thing to say,

Is: as you go on your way,

Walk through life with purpose.

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