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Sir Gary urges top students to make the world a better place


Oct 9, 2018

SIR Gary Verity has urged high-attaining students at the top-performing state school in the North to go out and achieve great things to make the world a better place.

The Welcome to Yorkshire tourism boss told record-breaking A-level and outstanding GCSE students at Ripon Grammar School’s annual prize-giving ceremony they were destined to be our future leaders.

Sir Gary, who brought the Tour de France to Yorkshire and was knighted for his services to tourism, told them: “You are the most talented group I have probably ever addressed. And that is saying something.”

The awards presentation marked another year of exceptional results for the school, with students achieving 95% of GCSEs at grades A*-B/9-5 and 79.5% of A-levels at grades A*-B.

This year’s sixth form leavers, whose impressive performance broke all RGS records, returned to their old school to take pride of place in front of a packed hall, filled with parents, civic dignitaries, governors and staff.

The former pupils, most now studying at elite Russell Group universities, were joined by those students who excelled in their GCSEs in the summer, achieving some of the best results RGS has ever seen.

But the audience hadn’t gathered to celebrate academic achievements alone. The school is also renowned for its sports, music, drama and community and volunteering work and students received special awards for excelling in these areas.

Among the school’s new alumni are medics, dentists, vets, engineers, economists and historians, studying at universities including Durham, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, London’s Imperial College, Oxford and Cambridge.

Others are reading subjects as diverse as commercial pilot training, international relations, marine technology, creative writing, astrophysics, fashion merchandising and aerospace engineering, while a number have taken up high-level apprenticeships in business, accounting and with ITV.

Sir Gary told them: “You have received the greatest start in life from your education here, in this city at this fantastic school, a great Yorkshire school. I think this is a really special place.

“All of you have been equipped to be the next generation of leaders in our world. It is now looking towards you to take things forward. Reflect on how you are going to change the world for the better.”

Sir Gary presented prizes to those A-level students who achieved four A*-A passes or three A*-A plus a B grade, as well as for exceptional performances in individual subjects. GCSE students who gained a C or higher in every subject were recognised, and also given prizes for high achievements in particular subjects.

Headmaster Jonathan Webb described RGS – one of the few state schools which offers boarding – as a ‘proud Yorkshire school’, where boys and girls excel and secure their dreams.

Near the top of the tree nationally for adding value, he told the audience that latest measurements of the progress pupils make from primary school to the end of their time at Ripon Grammar School now place RGS 60thout of 6,000 schools nationally.

Following the distribution of awards, lower sixth former Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla performed a stirring rendition of Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor.

Sir Gary concluded: “It is important to dream and to dream big. You all have talents. You don’t have to be the best but you owe it to yourself to be the very best you can be. Have great lives and achieve great things.”