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22nd December 2010


The annual John Kyrle High School Prize Giving Evening took place at the school last Thursday and Jesse Norman, MP was invited to address the event and was delighted to present the young people with their well deserved awards. Before the prizes were presented, Matthew Petrie took up his bassoon and performed 'The Montagues and Capulets' from Prokofiev's 'Romeo and Juliet.' Ryan Green then accompanied Emily Banks on piano as she sang 'On My Own' from Les Miserables. Both performances were very well received.

All of the thousands of photos taken at this event are available to watch as the final item in the video below. If you want a copy of any of the pictures, I will be giving all of them to the school soon after Christmas for distribution to those concerned.

Mr. Griffiths addressed those present with the following speech, which made clear just how proud he is of the students in his care.

Honoured Guest, Mr Norman, students, parents and families, staff, governors and supporters of the school, it gives me great pleasure to offer this, my 10th State of the Nation address as we celebrate the outstanding achievements of our students and school for the academic year 2009 -10.

I would like to begin by awarding our first prize of the night to a young man who has to leave immediately in order to attend a sea cadets dinner at 8. James Denny a student in Year 8 has won the Ross Gazette prize for progress in English and as you show your appreciation for James, please also bear in mind that it is his birthday today!

As James leaves to attend his dinner I can tell you that his parents asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he said, 'What I want more than anything is to miss one of Mr Griffiths speeches!'

Although this is my 10th Prize Giving as Head Teacher, it is a first for me as it is my first ever speech in front of my mother-in-law, hence the unusual nerves. I am very lucky in that my mother-in-law and I get on really well. This is because we both agree on one thing and that is that her daughter is far too good for me. Always has been, always will be!


The Week in Moving Pictures, including the JKHS Prize Giving photos.

Many people draw on great historical figures for their inspiration. They cite people such as Churchill, Mandella, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa - all great and inspirational figures. My inspiration doesn't require looking to history or abroad. I am inspired by people in our community.

As a school community we have witnessed the loss of a small number of students from accidents and illness. We have also had to support students and their families following the loss of mums and dads. It is admirable how all families cope with these tragedies. It is an inspiration to see many set up or support existing charities in memory of their lost loved ones; raising money and offering support to families, suffering and worrying as they have done in order to alleviate some of the hardship. Organizations such as Noah's Ark, Hope, and the Mat Beddard Charity are three of many I could mention. I am always very pleased when the school council opts to support these local charities.

The school is closely associated with the Princess Diana Award set up for inspirational young people. Princes William and Harry have recently stated their ongoing support for this Award. We have been successful this year in having one of our students recognized. We have here tonight an inspirational young lady who has given a great deal of support to her family over the years. Her mum and dad are exceptionally proud of her and she has helped her older brother through some particularly challenging times. This young lady enjoys looking after animals and she has spent sometime caring for them at a local sanctuary. Already recognized in a local awards ceremony in Hereford, a young lady who is very well liked by all at John Kyrle, someone who always aims high and does her best. Ladies and Gentlemen, the winner of this year's Princess Diana Award for courage and inspiration, Amber Pottie.

The multi-billionaire and founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, was asked recently what advice would he give to anyone working in an organization in order to help them progress. He said the answer was easy. Make your boss happy by knowing what he or she values in the organization and doing it. My PE department follow this advice to the letter. They know that coming to my office with students who have achieved sporting success always makes my day. Whatever the sport I am pleased to see and help celebrate success, especially if this success gets us a mention in the local papers or, even better, my picture in the paper!

Many of the students here tonight were part of individual and team events which saw John Kyrle excel on the sports field during 2009-2010. Year 8 and 9 boys are the table tennis champions of Herefordshire. This success is more marked as we won the cup indoors. At John Kyrle we usually play table tennis outdoors. I'm going to lobby for it to become part of the Winter Olympics as we are even better in the wind, ice, rain and the snow.

We celebrate tonight success in all areas important to this school; academic, musical, artistic, linguistic, sporting and for contribution to the community. None of these successes would be possible without the talent and hard work of my students and their teachers, the backing of the Governors and the huge support students and the school receive from parents and the local community.

I continue to be genuinely proud and honoured to lead this school. My job has changed massively over the last ten years, my enjoyment of it has only increased. The most rewarding aspect is seeing students with the help of school and their families persevere and gain the successes they deserve.

Some of the prize winners with Head Teacher, Nigel Griffiths and Jesse Norman, MP.

Matthew Petrie performs 'The Montagues and Capulets' on his bassoon.

Ryan Green accompanies Emily Banks on Piano.

Emily Banks sings 'On My Own' from Les Miserables.
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