PHOTOS: Louth Grammar School presentation evening

Tuesday 8am - STUDENTS were praised at the annual King Edward VI Grammar School Presentation Evening at Louth Town Hall.

Headteacher Claire Hewitt said it has been a very successful year for the school.

Guest speaker was former pupil Professor The Lord Norton of Louth.

Entertainment was provided by Music Prize winners Hannah Priestley and Eleanor Pike.

Here is the headteacher's speech from the night in full -

I am proud to stand before you this evening to celebrate with you the success of the students at King Edward's. The School has of course served the town of Louth for hundreds of years but the focus of this evening is the achievements of the last academic year.

2007 to 2008 was a highly successful year for King Edward's with the addition of Specialist Language College status to our existing Science and Maths Specialism, the re-designation of the Healthy School Award and the development of a peer mentoring programme. It was a year that culminated in the best A level results in the school's history. The record breaking results are attributable to many of the people here in this room tonight and I don't just mean the students who are here to collect prizes because parents, staff and governors also played their parts. Successful education is a partnership which demands the hard work of the students, the support of their parents, the dedication and commitment of the staff and a proactive governing body. The Governors, the staff, the parents and most importantly the students are all mutually dependent and all mutually supportive.

That support extends well beyond academic aims, as King Edward's prides itself on a lot more than examination results and 2007 to 2008 was action packed with activities that provided students with a myriad of experiences. The school has a long tradition of excellent extracurricular opportunities and we continue to look at how these can be further developed so last year saw the introduction of a Mandarin club and a wider variety of Sixth Form enrichment activities which provided opportunities for students to gain a First Aid qualification, learn self-defence and practise their cooking skills in addition to participating in the established range of team and individual sporting opportunities. Last year, across the school there were nearly three and a half thousand student appearances in sporting fixtures and the new House system provided excellent motivation for participation in our first sports day to be held at King George V stadium in Grimsby where the track events featured staff relay teams and a fiercely competitive potato and spoon race. In addition to the fleet of buses which ferried all the school off to Grimsby for Sports Day, in the last year the school booked nearly two thousand coach and minibus seats for taking students on a wide variety of trips with some destinations close to home and other much further afield for activities as diverse as skiing in Austria, admiring art in Paris, visiting historic and political sites in the USA, husky sledding in Norway, surviving numerous Duke of Edinburgh expeditions despite the Great British weather and visiting the World War 1 battlefields in Belgium which was also the destination of our Musicians on their annual tour in April.

Music continues to thrive in the school and we have enjoyed a range of hugely popular concerts including an incredible Leavers' Concert which left us awestruck by the students' talents and a tremendously popular Jazz Evening which was a sell out. Tickets were also in great demand for the School's annual production which this year was "Singin in the rain" and students have continued to showcase their dramatic talent in Edward's Theatre Company and Teddies productions. These events all provide important opportunities for teamwork and leadership as do the activities organised by the Combined Cadet Force which in the summer took cadets on camp to Linton-on-ouse and to Wathgill where the programme included flying, abseiling, kayaking and shooting.

In addition to our students going out and about on trips, in July the School played host to a group of German students, this was part of an exchange programme we have with a school in Bad Konigshofen and our students are eagerly looking forward to next Friday when they will be setting off to meet their exchange partners again but this time in Germany.

Now students and staff have become familiar with the fact that in assemblies I like to get them thinking by asking them a question and this evening I would like to ask you to consider a very simple question and that is, what comes into your mind when I say the words King Edward VI Grammar School? It might be images of the school's grounds or its buildings, its students or its staff or it might be memories of school events. We all have different thoughts and feelings about King Edward's depending on our personal connection with the School and possibly what mood we are in! I suspect that if the older students here this evening were to consider the feelings they had about King Edward's when they first joined the School they might find they had changed quite a bit as they moved through the school. For me if I stop for a moment to think about King Edward's, all sort of things spring to mind, events that are an integral part of school life such as the traditional Charter Day, Remembrance Day and Carol services, the entertaining talent shows and other charities events that raise our awareness of giving to others less fortunate than ourselves, provide fond memories and play an important role in our personal development.

For some of you this may be your last school event, as you are about to embark on the next stage of your education and this is of course my last presentation evening as headteacher of King Edward's. In these months before I leave, I am deeply conscious and totally determined that the school must continue to develop, it cannot be allowed to stand still simply because of the change of Headteacher. Such changes, important as they are, need not interrupt the flow of our well-run school, of course, as there is a well established, experienced leadership team and a committed staff all of whom have individual girls' and boys' interests at heart, that does not change simply because there is a change at the top.

Our guest speaker this evening is someone who has seen several changes of Headteacher in his long association with King Edward's as a pupil, a member of the Governing Body and as a former Warden. Lord Norton of Louth is Professor of Government and Director of the Centre for Legislative Studies at the University of Hull. He was appointed Professor in 1986 becoming the youngest professor in the country at that time. Following his elevation to the peerage in 1998, he was Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution from 2001 to 2004. He has been described in The House Magazine – the journal of both Houses of Parliament – as "our greatest living expert on Parliament". He has a range of research interests including British politics, the British Constitution and US politics and government. Lord Norton is Editor of The Journal of Legislative Studies. He clearly leads a very busy life and we are delighted that he has found time in his hectic schedule to be with us this evening. I would now like to invite Professor The Lord Norton of Louth to present the Y12 prizes and commendations.

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