On Wednesday 5 July, Prior Park Prep School held its annual Prize Giving and picnic. The event, created to recognise it's pupil's achievements, was also the school's chance to welcome a very special guest speaker - Emily Gravestock, who works at the UK Space Agency.
At Prize Giving awards are presented for each of the academic subjects, sports, language development and extra-curricular achievements but also for upholding the school's values (The Prior Way Shield) and for being a 'good egg', for which the Mary Cassidy Plate is presented.
The proceedings opened with an excellent speech from Emily Gravestock, Head of Applications Strategy at the UK Space Agency. At the Agency Emily's role covers areas such as Earth Observation, Telecommunications, Navigation and Technology Transfer and involves working with scientists, business people, academics, the public and astronauts like Tim Peake. She said it was just like working for NASA, but based in Swindon! She opened the children's eyes up to the capabilities of satellites, science and space and her personal journey showed that 'having a go' and 'management by cake' is a winning formula. An engaging speaker, she inspired parents, pupils and staff.
Space and science do not care what gender you are...if you have the passion and the ideas, that is what matters.Emily Gravestock, Space Agency
Emily was not the only one that gave a speech to get people talking. Amelia and Lamar, Head Girl and Boy, had their audiences fully engaged. Amelia gave an emotional talk, summing up her time at Prior Park as a wonderful experience, where she and her sister had been accepted into the school community, enjoyed a lovely group of friends and valued the support given by teachers.
Lamar struck a different note with an entirely entertaining speech, one that will long remain in the memories of staff and students alike. He described the moment his parents asked "Lamar you wanna go to a taster day at Prior Park?", about how he thought a private school would be 'posh' and how he feared that he would not be accepted - before highlighting, in a 'tongue in cheek manner', that of course it was his good looks and charm that helped him to win others over! Lamar said that he had greatly enjoyed boarding, playing the villainous Bill Sykes in Oliver! and that he now looks forward to moving onto the next stage of education.
In between the speeches and awards, the piano was played, songs were sung and drama performed. Tashika, Amy, Ben, Niamh and Jacob provided a wonderful opening to proceedings with their piano playing. The Pre-Prep children sang 'Keep on Moving' by Richard Stannard and the Senior Choir sang 'Swinging on a star' by Jimmy Van Heusen. Savannah and Freya's skit from 'Awful Auntie', the David Wallliams book, was entertaining. Jemima and Lydia were fantastic in 'Acting Class' by Clifford Jury - expect to see them in the West End soon. Prior Park Prep pupils are a talented bunch.
All the children came up to receive their awards, including eight who had secured scholarships onto their next stage of their education. Awards included:
- Headmaster's Academic Commendation - Lamar
- English - Natalie
- Mathematics - Amy
- Science - Jay
- History - Hannah and Ed
- Geography - Heath
- French - Beatrice
- Religious Education - Bernardo
- Latin - Oliver H
- Computing - Oliver JW
- Art - Lydia
- Music - Amy
- Performing Arts - Jemima
- Physical Education - Olivia
- English as an Additional Language - Wilson
- Girls' Sport Personality - Olivia
- Boys' Sports Personality - Lamar
- Learning Support Plate - Jacob
- Mary Cassidy Plate - Darcy
- The Prior Way Shield - Ethan
It was a happy and moving end to the academic year. We wish all our Year 8 Leavers the very best and everyone a lovely summer holiday.