As we get to the end of a busy term, Prize Giving offers a time for us to reflect on the achievements of the past year, celebrating the successes of both individuals and the whole student body. This was truly encompassed this year with a new ‘student led’ approach to Prize Giving. This involved students from Years 10–12, taking the lead in summarising the years’ activities and introducing the prizes which were received. The areas discussed varied from the creative arts to academics, as well as artificial intelligence. Each speech was delivered beautifully and offered an interesting insight into the enormously wide range of talent that there is here at HelKats.
Furthermore, we were fortunate enough to have Guin Batten join us. As a major athlete, adventurer, world record-breaker and leader, her words of wisdom were both entertaining and thought provoking. She spoke about the importance of self-belief and tenacity, with anecdotes from her incredible achievements. Just by glancing around the room, it was clear how impactful and inspiring Guin’s story was to all those listening, from students to staff and parents.
Whilst Prize Giving provides us with a time to reflect on the past, Guin’s powerful speech also offered some wise advice that I’m sure we will all carry with us into the future.
It’s really incredible to see the levels of dedication, enthusiasm and excellence achieved in the past year, and I think we are all now deserving of a lovely long break!
To mark the occasion, the School’s student laureate wrote a reflective piece that perfectly captures the bitter-sweet emotion that the end of school brings.
Turn on the grass in your circle skirt,
Hammer your imprint into the lawn with
The pace of your feet. Make it say I was here,
Tracing over the indents I left.
Pick the petals off of flowers.
A game for a little girl.
The calendar pages murmur when they turn,
Whisper the final secrets scrawled
In the margins of the desks, sealed in
By time. My hand locks my chapters
Behind me. Something finished, something closed,
But the calendar turns, regardless,
Setting summer to the spokes of a wheel,
A spinning-top that turns the clock
And paints new biro stains, spattered on fingertips
Although the tacky ink has dried for me.
Wear daisy chains in your hair, and let
The stalks tangle and catch, because
I did that once. I was here, the flowers say,
Trodden under bare feet. Sprawl out
On the fields, summer dress, summer air,
And lie under the trees where I sat. Cyclical,
You take my place, with my name unnoticed
In the front of your textbook, shut for the season.
Looking-glass, combing out curls in the corridor,
Let a younger girl check her hair instead. The
Honeycomb of pollen is the same
On both of our dresses, but the styles have changed
With the years that progress them.
I’ll close the chapter, lock the book, wear
The key about my neck. And let
Her sit in my place, shaded,
Under the willow and the oak, to twirl
Her pattern on the grass.
Spinning-top, forget-me-not, I was here,
just as you are now. Part of the cycle, we
Push the wheel, and it clicks us into place.
With sunflower-sunshine, my time is done.
But we leave behind the words on the desks,
And on the lawn, though
The petals wilt in the sun.
Spinning top, forget-me-not,
The little girl is all grown up.
But another sits, bare legs on grass,
To play with buttercups.