Speech Day at The Grange

July 4, 2014

Musically gifted boys shone at The Grange Monmouth Preparatory School’s annual prize-giving day.

In an especially meaningful year, the school marks its 50th anniversary as the senior school celebrates 400 years of educational excellence. A strong sense of joyful pride was felt throughout the ceremony, which was kick-started by an upbeat performance by The Grange Band.

Sheridan Swallow, Chairman of the Board of Governors, got speeches underway, thanking the leavers for their contributions which had been “a great part of the School’s success”.

She added: “The day we found out about our excellent Estyn inspection, I came home and my husband had Ode to Joy playing on the iPad in the kitchen. Elaine Thomas, Head of The Grange, told students, parents, staff and governors that Beethoven’s Ode to Joy perfectly summed up the school’s wonderful year.

“It was a flash mob version and I found myself laughing at the joy of the music and on people’s faces.”

Mrs Thomas compared this school year to a flash mob, in which people’s attention had been grabbed by something different and exciting happening. She praised the boys for their superb array of sporting achievements, including Theo who has been confirmed as Number One tennis player in the UK for his age group (U9s).

Fourteen records were broken at this year’s sports day, and the boys are excelling in the world of cricket and soccer, prompting Mrs Thomas to say: “Sport at The Grange is as strong as it has ever been.” Mrs Thomas also thanked the boys for their special “sense of fun, exuberance, kindness and joie de vivre.”

Head boy Joshua gave a moving speech about how the School has helped boost his confidence through the fantastic productions it has put on, and the friends he has made. He was honoured to be given the opportunity to choose Winston’s Wish, which helps bereaved children build their lives up again, as the school’s charity this year. The boys have raised more than £2,000 for the cause. Joshua said: “We have learnt many lessons during our time here – some painful, some painless, but all priceless.” Guests were then treated to a moving scene from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which the boys had performed at The Blake Theatre for two nights this week.

Joff Bates, Master of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, addressed the boys directly, telling them of his special connection with the school and how he was involved in finding the site for it all those years ago. He wished all of the boys great success for next year. Prizes were handed out to a number of students, including the Orchestra Prize which went to Edward, the Choir Prize to Gabriel and the Blake Essay Prize which was given to Zeb. Before a marvellous selection of songs fromJoseph the musical were performed, Dr Steven Connors, Headmaster of Monmouth School, spoke to everyone about the show. He said the production encompassed everything he loves about The Grange, and he praised the way in which everybody in the school had been involved with it so enthusiastically.

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