Students have been encouraged to treasure their school and appreciate how it is preparing them for their future by a former head boy.
Hugh McHale-Maughan, who left Ripon Grammar School in 2013, was special guest at the annual Lower School Prizegiving.
Now working within Her Majesty’s Treasury, he told the students, staff, governors and guests that Ripon Grammar School was the place where he had spent his happiest years.
He said: “Your lives are going to be great. You are some of the most well-educated students in the world living in a country that is one of the wealthiest, safest and happiest on the planet.”
Hugh, who gained a first-class degree in philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University before joining the office of John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister, said the world of work the students would enter in the late 2020s would be unrecognisable.
“Eighty five per cent of the jobs in 2030 haven’t been invented yet, so if you don’t know what you want to do, don’t worry,” he said.
“The best way to prepare for the new jobs of the future is to learn a set of skills at school that you can apply anywhere. Working hard, being kind to each other, they are the core skills that RGS will teach you that will set you apart in the workplace.”
He also warned them: “Some things will go well, some will go badly, treat them the same. Things are very rarely as good or as bad as they seem.”
Hugh said globalisation would be the single biggest influence on our society going forward but this would not diminish the importance of the local community – schools, cricket clubs, parish councils and so on, “little platoons” that will remain crucial to people having better and more grounded lives.
“This community is very special and will remain so. It’s a place of high achievement but also of happiness, fun and kindness. This is a wonderful and precious place that will set you up for long and interesting lives.”
Earlier, Dr Peter Mason, chairman of governors, had praised the students and staff for all their achievements during the last year.
He said there was unremitting ambition for the future of the school in “striving to move from outstanding to superlative”.
Headmaster Jonathan Webb reflected on a year of sporting achievement, with many students being selected for county honours, high standards in music and drama and academic success among the lower school.
He said: “Surely the co-curricular output of the school has as important a place as the curricular outcome in the formation of young minds, the development of confidence, inner resilience and the sheer ability to work with an alongside each other.
“Those students who are the most active, the most outgoing, are the ones who go on to achieve such great things – they embrace a busy life style, for life is about living, trying new things, confronting your inner demons perhaps. This is the best experience for life after school – getting along and grasping opportunity. ‘Employability’ is a by-product.”
The audience was treated to a performance by third form pianist Shen Jie Yaw and Reverend Chris Butler led the prayer.
Form prize winners
Anna Bradley, William Jarvis, Millie Dean, Samarth Dasarathi, Caitlin Brownlee, Zoe Falokun, Oliver Callaghan, Florence Maylor, William Kendall, Kai Newby, Lillian McDermott, Grace Bleiker, Ruby Todd, Elanor Jones, Carrie Chapman, Natasha Stocks, Brooke Kendall, Marnie Scatchard, Adam Carpenter, James Rudsdale, Imogen Wren, Isabel Robinson, Isobel Bean, Charlotte Wood, Shen Jie Yaw, Molly Acton, Edwin Dant, Eleanor Chaplin, Freya Hornsey, Charlotte Eades, Lucy Cox, Sophie Pointon, Chloe Stringwell, Olivia Whild, Ellen McKeag, Henrietta Jarvis, Imogen McMurray, Lydia Blinkhorn-Conroy, Annabel Brown.
Special awards for third form students
The Robert Atkinson Prize for Art: Sofia Sumpter
The Robert Atkinson Prize for Design Technology: Shen Jie Yaw
The Lower School Prize for English: Olivia Whild
Mrs Anderson’s Prize for Food Technology: Febe Elsayghe
The Mearns Prize for Progress in French: Eleanor Chaplin
The Lower School Prize for Geography: Vrinda Kumar
The Lower School Prize for History: Imogen McMurray
The Lower School Prize for Mathematics: Chloe Stringwell
The Lower School Prize for Music: Edwin Dant
The Andrew Mawson Prize for Physical Education: Spencer Chapman
The Barbara Selby Cup for Physical Education: Eleanor Lawson
The Lodge Prize for Poetry: Imogen McMurray
The Lower School Prize for Religious Education: Lucy Cox
Mrs Bowdery’s Prize for Progress in Science: Vrinda Kumar
The Junior Drama Trophy: Zoe Williams
The Contribution Cup for Boarding: Alice Milburn
The Contribution Cup for Boarding: Joshua Simpson
The John Benson Memorial Trophy for Integrity: Thomas Whitelegg
The Prize for All-Round Achievement: Imogen McMurray
The Junior House Trophy: Porteous