Monmouth School for Girls Speech Day: A Celebration of Legacy and New Beginnings

July 4, 2024
From left to right: Mr Rupert Elliott, Master of the Haberdashers' Company, Charlotte Hume, award-winning writer, journalist and OG, Mrs Rachel Rees, Acting Head for Monmouth School for Girls, and Lord Colin Moynihan, Chair of Governors.

From left to right: Mr Rupert Elliott Master of the Haberdashers’ Company, Charlotte Hume award-winning writer, journalist and OG, Mrs Rachel Rees Acting Head for Monmouth School for Girls, and Lord Colin Moynihan Chair of Governors.

The sun shone brightly across the lawns of Monmouth School for Girls as we celebrated Speech Day on Saturday. The event was a wonderful occasion, marked by the impressive display of talent from students who received numerous prizes for their academic, creative, artistic, musical, and extra-curricular achievements.  

Guest speaker, award-winning writer and journalist, Charlotte Hume, former Head Girl in 1986.

Guest speaker, award-winning writer and journalist, Charlotte Hume, former Head Girl in 1986.

Distinguished guests, including Lord Colin Moynihan, Chair of Governors, and Mr Rupert Elliott, Master of the Haberdashers’ Company, joined students, staff, and families in commemorating this special day. Common threads running through the speeches – delivered by Acting Head for Monmouth School for Girls, Mrs Rachel Rees, Lord Moynihan, Rupert Elliot and our guest speaker, award-winning writer and journalist Charlotte Hume (OG) – were the importance of hard work, celebrating achievements, and embracing change. 

The day featured a heartfelt address by Charlotte Hume, Head Girl in 1986, who highlighted the significance of creativity, hard work, and enthusiasm. Drawing from her own experiences, she emphasised how these qualities have propelled her forward in life, inspiring students to harness their passions and efforts to achieve their dreams. 

Acting Head Mrs Rees during her speech

Acting Head Mrs Rees during her speech.

Mrs Rees delivered a thoughtprovoking speech that delved into the storied history of Monmouth School for Girls. She underscored the notion that change is life’s greatest teacher, encouraging everyone to embrace transformation as a force for growth. “Driving positive change in our lives means taking risks and shaking things up by being constantly in motion,” Mrs Rees stated, urging students to be bold and proactive in shaping their futures.

 

Head Girl, Nell Sampson

Head Girl Nell

Head Girl, Nell, also took to the podium, sharing her journey and dreams since Year 7. Having served as Head Girl of Monmouth Prep School, Nell expressed her gratitude and pride in delivering a speech she had envisioned for years. Her words resonated deeply with her peers, encapsulating the spirit of ambition and dedication that defines the school.

 

Musical performances from junior and senior musicians.

Musical performances from junior and senior musicians showcased the spectacular breadth of talent across the age range. As guests, parents, students, and staff gathered afterwards in the sun-filled piazza, there was a palpable sense of pride in the school’s history and excitement towards the next chapter.

Performances from junior and senior Girls

The ceremony also honoured five long-term members of staff who are retiring this year, each leaving an indelible mark on the school. 

  • Mrs Laura Beech, who joined the school in 2002, departs after 22 years of dedicated service as a Latin, Greek, and Classics teacher. Her contributions to the academic excellence of the school will be long remembered. 
  • Mrs Lynne Peach, also a staff member since 2002, has been the invaluable resource assistant who supported teaching staff by preparing countless materials, her commitment lasting 22 years. 
  • Ms Rhyan Parry, whose remarkable 28-year tenure inspired the creation of the new Rhyan Parry Dance for Life award, leaves a legacy of passion and creativity. 
  • Mrs Judith Jefferies in Learning Support, a former matron at the Boys’ school and Head of Learning Support since 2008, retires after 14 impactful years in her role. 
  • Mrs Kate Callaghan, the longest-serving member of staff with 30 years at the school, is celebrated for her inspirational work as a rowing coach. An accomplished rower herself, she finished fourth in the coxless four at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. 

Each staff member was invited to collect their long service scrolls from the Master, Mr Rupert Elliott, in recognition of their invaluable contributions to the school community. 

As Monmouth School for Girls prepares to embark on its new journey as a co-educational institution, this Speech Day served as a fitting tribute to its past achievements and a glance towards its promising future. The celebration of legacy and the embracing of change encapsulates the spirit of Haberdashers’ Monmouth School, ensuring that its values and traditions will continue to thrive in the years to come.