Lincoln Christ's Hospital School

Lincoln Christ's Hospital School
Educating in Lincoln since 1090

 

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Senior Awards Evening

Thursday 12th September 2019

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you very much for coming along to the Junior Awards Evening.

Welcome to all our prize winners, especially to those who have come back after leaving us and going on to pastures new such as university, college and employment; thank you for coming back to share this evening with us.

Tonight, we are here to celebrate the progress, hard work and dedication of our upper year groups; to celebrate our differences, our common goals, and the collective responsibility we all feel to our school, parents and carers, and to ourselves.

We are also here to think about one of the priority founding principles, which is to support students to reach their personal excellence.

This excellence is different for you all and this excellence is unique. Tonight, we celebrate progress in many subjects: Maths, English, Design, Languages, Humanities, Art – just to name a few. You are sitting here tonight because your teachers and staff are proud of your achievements over this past year, and they have picked you as the one person they would like to congratulate over everyone else. This is a very special thing.

However, this evening isn’t just about saying well done to the people who get the best marks in a test or get 100% all the time. Yes, this can be congratulated, but I personally hold much more value on those people who have been chosen for their determination, effort, commitment to a project or lesson. Those people who might have found things difficult – an uphill struggle – and, despite this, have pulled through to succeed.

It is you that we all look up to and hope that we can live up to your example as we all hit our own personal struggles. We will use your example and turn these barriers into opportunities to learn new things and experience new ideas.

So, thank you to you all for making our jobs so enjoyable and showing that passion and that thirst for learning which we all know is so important.

Before I go on, I would just like to repeat what our Chair of Governors has said about the wider support you have had. You all know that you would not be sitting there if you did not have teachers who were giving you the opportunities, teaching assistants who are by your side supporting you, progress leaders that cared about your every move and pastoral managers who were not looking after you day to day. I think they all need another round of applause!

Also – to the influences and support at home – encouraging you to look good in your uniform, getting to school on time and every day, asking you about your homework, being involved in your studies, telling you to get off your phone and do some work. So again, please can we have a round of applause for all parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, carers and guardians who are always helping you to do well.

Our school has gone through a remarkable transformation over these past years and we are riding on a high with the excellent provision and results you have achieved. You are the people who have raised the bar, the students who have reminded us to expect more: the expectation of hard work; of being that ambassador for your school; the expectation that success follows hard work. You took on this responsibility and have thrived.

You have achieved something great by getting here and, hopefully, you will do it again. Hopefully, for those who have yet to go through formal exams, when you pick up your results, this pride can come up again, reminding you of the reason why you bothered in the first place.

In my opinion, results and exams are a stepping stone: stepping stone to your next stage, to your next thing, towards your passion, towards your goal.

The wider experience - friendships, clubs, support, teams, trips, student voice - is where you build your character, the character to succeed - on these academic stepping stones.

And – do you know – it is okay to be proud – it’s okay to feel that pride in yourself and your friends. It’s okay to feel pride in excellence and be happy for others who have also got it. It’s okay to feel pride in the most improved school in the whole of Lincolnshire. It’s okay to feel proud of your English Department or Maths Department or your Art Department or the football or basketball team. People work hard – so be proud of them.

So, if you agree with this, what are you going to do with this information? What are we all going to do? Are you going to bottle up this pride?

We could just leave it and forget and get on with our lives or, tomorrow, you can go and tell your friend, ‘Well done, you are stunning’. You can go to your English teacher and say thank you or your football coach and say thank you or to your dad for always doing your packed lunch or your mum for never missing a parents’ evening or your grandad for helping you make something for your homework.

I challenge all of us to say something to those around you who you are proud of.

This year will be full of more opportunities to learn and experience new things. Moreover, just like this year, you will have a choice. That choice is to just survive and get through or the choice to thrive. Sometimes, it is easy to take the easy route and I really do hope that you will continue to take what could be described as the rocky path, the path which will challenge you, the path that will test your boundaries and, ultimately, will help you move forward.

It won’t always be easy, but these tests in character and commitment will determine your success and strengths.

So, my second challenge to you is to not just survive but to thrive!

Many congratulations to all of our prize winners this evening.

Thank you.

Mr Mckeown

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