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Pupils encouraged to be kind at Ipswich School Speech Day

Headmaster Nick Weaver standing at lectern at Ipswich School Speech Day 2019

Being kind was the theme that ran through this year’s Ipswich School Speech Day, held on the School Field on Henley Road at the beginning of July.

The speakers at the event gave examples of how kindness is a positive trait to nurture. Chairman of Governors Henry Staunton opened proceedings, by reminding the audience of sacrifices made in the two World Wars, and looked back to the Remembrance Doves art installation which had enthralled visitors in November. He concluded by reminding everyone of the words of Audrey Hepburn: “People are blessed with two hands – one to help themselves and one to help others,” he said.

Headmaster Nicholas Weaver spoke about the positive relationships which underpin life at Ipswich School. He used the words of successful Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp to remind pupils and everyone in the audience that they are responsible for successful relationships in every room they go into. Mr Weaver said: “These words encapsulate Ipswich School. Each person here is responsible for the wonderful year we have had.”

He then went on to share some of those moments from the sports field, music and drama, and also spoke about the money and awareness which had been raised for charities including Ipswich Town Pastors, Suffolk MIND and Marine Conservation Society, showing the value which the school placed on kindness for others and for the environment.   

The guest speaker was Dr Adam Rutherford, scientist, author and BBC Radio 4 presenter, who is a former pupil of Ipswich School. He entertained the audience of pupils, parents, staff and invited guests with confessions about his school career, and shared nine points which he felt people should consider to make the most of the opportunities in their lives.

Making a difference, making the most of new technology and being aware of the privileged position they held were some of these points. Dr Rutherford also advised students to: “Fail better. Get good at failing but learn from your mistakes. Don’t make the same ones over and over again,” and concluded with the most simple words: “Just be kind!

The Ipswich School Speech Day on Friday 5 July saw over 80 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 Deputy Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Jane Riley.

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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