Excellence in all areas of school life has been recognised at Richmond School and Sixth Form College’s annual presentation evening. Students across all Year groups were invited on stage to receive their certificates and trophies from Baroness Angela Harris, the host for the evening.
Headboy and Headgirl, Saul Tuite and Alana Hodgson, welcomed students, parents, carers, staff and local dignitaries and introduced Baroness Harris, who treated the capacity audience to a truly thought-provoking and inspiring address to motivate the students in their future studies. Angela urged the students to make the best of every opportunity that comes their way, explaining that throughout their lives doors will open and doors will close, but when the opportunities come along, not to hesitate, they should go for it. She demonstrated this perfectly through her own career path, saying ‘I wasn’t always a Baroness, I’m a very ordinary person.” Angela started her career as an air stewardess and by taking opportunities she became a member of North Yorkshire County Council, going on to serve as Chair of the North Yorkshire Police Authority. A former Richmond Town and District Councillor, Mayor, President of the National Association of Chaplains to the Police and Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, Angela is a Liberal Democrat Life Peer, taking the title Baroness Harris of Richmond. She is currently Chair of the Industry and Parliament Trust.
Baroness Harris told the parents and carers in the audience that it is very good of them to trust their children to the care of the amazing teaching staff at Richmond School. She went on to say that the students are very special and they have learnt the qualities of the school’s values, teamwork being invaluable as people matter and it is people that make the world go around. Baroness Harris concluded by saying to the students: “Keep your options open, work hard, be cheerful, be kind and do everything that your parents tell you to do!”
Subject awards were presented for every year group, including an overall cup winner for each subject, in addition to a number of special awards. The Headteacher’s cup was awarded to Brandon Sutherland-Parker who impressed Mrs Potter with his outstanding drive and passion for dance. Brandon has carried out countless extra-curricular and community events; from delivering dance workshops in local primary schools and within KS3 lessons, to establishing his own dance company – Evolution- and directing a number of performances and projects. He has created an amazing legacy to dance through this company, which consists of many students of all ages and abilities.
Mrs Potter commented: “Brandon has genuinely had a huge impact on the culture of the Dance department as a whole and has helped to create a collaborative and caring community, not only by inspiring and challenging countless younger students but also through the relationships he has built with staff. He has been one of the school’s Deputy Headboys and carried out his duties in an exemplary manner. He will be sorely missed. It is wonderful that he is taking up his unconditional BA Hons Dance Studies offer at Middlesex University.”
James Longstaff and Rosie Collier-Gent were rewarded with the Examination Excellence Awards for GCSE and A-level respectively. James achieved a full suite of ten Grade 9s at GCSE, with Rosie achieving three A*s at A-level as well as an A* in her Extended Project Qualification. In addition, James was presented with the subject awards for English and Mathematics. James is now studying Chemistry, Maths, Further Maths and Physics A-levels at Richmond Sixth Form. Rosie was also awarded the cups for English and Media and Modern Foreign Languages and will shortly be starting a degree in English Literature and English Language at Oxford University.
Entertainment came from Sophie Montgomery, who performed Mozart’s Non So Piu from The Marriage of Figaro. Her flawless performance was impressive and powerful, and demonstrated Sophie’s incredible talent. It came as no surprise for the audience to hear that Sophie scored a near-perfect A* score of 103/105 in the performance component of her recent A-level Music examination. Sophie was presented with the Year 13 Music Award.
Headteacher Jenna Potter said, “Every year, we look forward to our Presentation evening and are privileged to honour our students who continue to achieve excellence in their studies and enrichment activities. These students are great ambassadors for the school and their attitude to self-improvement and striving to be the best they can be is admirable. It is an immense pleasure to see the students being rewarded for their hard work.”