During Michaelmas Term, Secondary School pupils and Sixth Form students gathered together with their families to celebrate the annual Prize Giving ceremony. The Prize Giving evening is a key moment where we congratulate our wonderful pupils and students as a community. Our awards acknowledge significant academic success but also celebrates the wider development of our young people, and the contribution that they have made to the QEGS community.

The ceremony began with Chair of Trustees, Mr David Peat, welcoming the audience and inviting the Head, Mrs Gammon, to deliver her speech. Mrs Gammon commented on how difficult the last academic year of 2021/22 was, as the School moved through the latter stages of the Covid pandemic. The arduous work from pupils, students, staff, parents, and carers had paid off during this challenging time, which was reflected in the number of prizes that were awarded. Mrs Gammon praised all the staff at QEGS for their teamwork, dedication, resilience, commitment, passion, and drive over the last few academic years.

Mr Vyse spoke of the importance of belonging to a Form. The Form Tutor grows to know their tutees extremely well, friendships are developed, and they become a team. Pupils take part in Form activities, they learn about the school motto, ‘Disce Prodesse’, and to be ready, respectful, and resilient, as they start to become the kind of young people we want them to be. It is precisely these qualities of supporting one another, discovering, and nurturing new talents, hard work and resilience in the face of challenges that QEGS looks to celebrate at our annual Prize Giving. We were pleased to award Form Prizes to each group for effort and attainment.

Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School prides itself in ensuring that all children develop their talents, whatever they may be. This means that we place as much value on what happens outside the classroom as to what happens in the classroom. We are extremely fortunate to be able to offer to all our pupils and students a wide range of clubs and activities that take place during the day, after school, at weekends and, sometimes even during the holidays. These clubs and activities cover academic subjects alongside sport, creative subjects, drama, Duke of Edinburgh, and wellbeing activities. Prizes were awarded to our pupils and students in recognition of their contribution to Community Service and Volunteer Work.

QEGS offers a rich and varied curriculum; we pride ourselves on the academic, demanding, and rigorous nature of the courses we offer. It is our ambition to expose pupils to different languages, as well as the significant curriculum time dedicated to Creative subjects, Humanities, and Physical Education, all of which complement our core subjects: English, Mathematics and Science. This broad and balanced curriculum allows pupils to find their niche and develop their own talents.

The Creative Faculty at QEGS (Art, Music, and Design Technology) make a key contribution to the personal development of our learners. Creativity runs through the heart of everything they do, with Music playing a key part of School life. The school year begins and ends with music, and significant moments throughout the year are celebrated with music. From the Beginning of Year Service, Founder’s Day, Carol Service, and a variety of performances throughout the year, we are always amazed at how well our pupils and students perform, both in the wider public and at Teatime Concerts in School.

Sport is an integral part of life at Queen Elizabeth’s, some young people are ‘sporty’ and others, less so. Here at QEGS we strive to encourage all pupils and students to take part in all forms of physical activity, regardless of their level of sporting ability and interest. Pupils are taught how to ride a bicycle and be more conscious of road safety. Swimming is an essential life skill; we teach all of our pupils how to swim and promote an awareness of water safety in and around our inland waterways. Our pupils and students take part in various town, county, and regional events such as athletics, cross country, football and netball. Nationally, we are recognised for our success at school sport level, in being awarded the ‘Quality Mark with Distinction’.

2022 saw pupils sit external examinations for the first time since 2019. We are enormously proud of all our past Year 11 pupils who, due to the pandemic, had to cope with considerable disruption to their GCSE studies. They conducted themselves admirably during the entire process and gained excellent results. These pupils deserve enormous recognition for their hard work and significant success and it was with immense pride that Mrs Tattersall awarded prizes to pupils for the outstanding grades that they achieved in exceeding their target grades.

This was also a most unusual year for all A level students up and down the country, given that due to Covid, it was the first time that they had sat public examinations. Our students coped admirably with the pressures that examinations inevitably cause; we are delighted for our students, and the results which they achieved in the last academic year.
As a School, we are extremely proud of our long history and grateful to our many benefactors, who, over the years, have bestowed prizes for future generations of students. We were delighted to award such historical prizes to our pupils and students.

The evening also included performances from a number of talented pupils and students, including a performance from the cast of our recent Musical ‘Matilda’. Two soloists from Year 7 sang ‘A Million Dreams’ and the QEGS’ Band performed Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Wish’, which is the music accompanying the presentation below showing our Prize Winners.

There is always the question posed as to how a school should be judged. Some judgements must be formed on how schools perform in external examinations, of which, we at Queen Elizabeth’s are enormously proud. However, alongside these external results, our pupils and students in all year groups make significant achievements in a wide range of subjects, including sport, music, and creative disciplines. It is the breadth and quality of this wider curriculum which presents opportunities for teamwork, development of new skills, new experiences, independence, and leadership, of which we are equally as proud. It is this that provides the lifelong memories and friendships that turn our pupils and students into wonderful adults that are ready for their next stage in life. These dedicated, determined, and compassionate pupils and students are a credit to their families and have been an inspiration to everyone at QEGS.

We thank all our trustees, staff, parents and carers who make all this possible. Without your support and dedication, our pupils and students would not turn out to be the amazing and talented young adults they are, of which we are truly proud.

A full list of our Prize Winners can be found in the presentation below.