Speech Day 2016

Headmaster Nicholas Weaver shared his passion and love for learning at the annual Ipswich School Speech Day, held on Thursday 7 July 2016.

Mr Weaver spoke to the audience of pupils, parents and invited guests about passion and love, something he felt was often forgotten about in education.  He talked about the many examples where pupils had demonstrated love and concern for others during the last school year, the biggest of which was the Refugee Awareness Week organised by Sixth Form students which raised thousands of pounds for the Red Cross.  He also admitted that he had never received a prize whilst at school, but saw how important it was to rejoice with those for all they had achieved.  Sometimes this might also mean learning from failure and seeing that life can weave interesting courses when you least expect it.  “It may seem strange talking about failure on a day like this,” he said, particularly to the parents in the audience, “But a growth mindset is so important, and the most loving thing we can do as parents is to help our children through failure.”

Whilst Mr Weaver outlined the many successes of the year, including the new Life Skills programme which had seen pupils developing their skills in surfing, ironing and shortbread biscuit making amongst many other things, he also paid tribute to former headmaster Dr John Blatchly, who died in September.  “If ever a man was passionate, if ever a man loved Ipswich School, it was John Blatchly,” said Mr Weaver.

Dr Jennifer Barnes, formerly Pro-Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, and Director of Global Education at BP in 2005, was the guest speaker at the Speech Day event. She spoke about the power of memories, saying “You don’t make memories, memories make you. School days aren’t necessarily the best days of your life, but they do give you some of the best memories.”  She reminded pupils that they should keep hold of excitement and friendships as they grow up, and that they should recognise the pressure they may face for what it is – “Be brave and accept what pressure can teach you about yourself.”

Karl Daniels, Chairman of Governors, was speaking at his last Ipswich School Speech Day before stepping down as a governor after 16 years of service – 14 as the Chair of Governors.  He outlined many of the school developments which he had been proud to be associated with, including the new Music School which was officially opened in March.  He concluded his final Speech Day with a memory of playing cricket at Ipswich School, something he said had given him confidence to achieve.  He said to the pupils in the audience: “Opportunities will come your way – I recommend that you take them.”

The Ipswich School Speech Day was held on the School Field at Henley Road and saw over 90 pupils receive prizes recognising their overall effort and achievement in subjects across the curriculum, both in and out of lessons.  These prizes, many of which are historic bequests from former pupils, were presented to pupils by the Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Roger Fern.

Mr Weaver said: “It is lovely to celebrate the success of our pupils in many areas of school life each year - Speech Day recognises the hard work and achievements of pupils, and allows us to thank staff and parents for the support they show.” 

Ipswich School’s Speech Day was followed by a Graduation Service in the School Chapel for the outgoing Year 13 students.

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