The success and achievements of younger students at Ripon Grammar School has been recognised in a ceremony rounding off the year.
The Lower School Prizegiving ceremony, attended by civic dignitaries, parents and staff, saw form prizes and commendations awarded to pupils.
The guest speaker for the afternoon, Old Riponian Dr Paul Hullah, described himself as “a working class chancer from Northern England”.
Dr Hullah, a university lecturer, author and poet who has lived in Japan for the last 20 years, attended Ripon Grammar School from 1974-1981, during which time he lost both his mother and his father.
He said: “I was taught well and passionately by teachers who were amazing, stimulating and inspiring and I know teachers here today are of the same ilk.
“It’s not just information and facts that you learn here, you also receive an education – things about human kindness, about relationships, about communicating with people and carrying each other through difficult times.”
During the ceremony, a host of awards for attainment in particular subjects, for boarders and for special achievement were also presented to third form students, with the Prize for All-Round Achievement going to Louisa Chatterton.
Louisa, 14, of Copgrove, who plays the violin and piano and had a major role in the school’s production of Les Miserables, said: “I was very proud to win. School is hard work but I really enjoy it because of the family atmosphere and feeling of community, which is really nice.”
Headmaster Martin Pearman updated the audience on the development of a new classroom block for history, languages and RE, which is due to be completed in mid-September, and the extension of girls’ boarding to meet demand, with work due to start next February.
He added: “The highlights of the year are many and I am often humbled by how talented, enthusiastic and hardworking students are these days.
“There has been so much success but, as ever, what has impressed me most is the enduring modesty and humility demonstrated by our students in victory coupled to graciousness in defeat.”
The audience was also entertained with a flute solo by Alice Robinson and cellist Oliver Bowett.
Merit – George Exley, Phoebe Hall, Jack Adams, Robert Langford, Jessica Hasson, Genevieve Hoskison, Elliot Palmer, Ewan May, Emily Parry, Tom Senior, Jasper Wood, Matthew Swinhoe, Henry Exley, Emma Kelly, Niamh Frost, Marina Mitra, Isobel Bremner, Harry Canning, Daniel Marston, Poppy Robinson, Philippa Tanner, Alexandra Trayer, Oliver Parry, Augustus Smith, Madeleine Charvill, Lucie Algret, Lorcan Gallagher, Louisa Chatterton, Katherine Dale, Ella Durkin, Phoebe Senior, Molly Morrell, Rebecca Payling, Benjamin Pimley, Georgie Taylor and Freya Whiteside.
Special awards – Art: Emily Clegg; Design Technology: Annissa Cook; English: Madeleine Charvill; Food Technology: Honor Whitham; Progress in French: Molly Morrell; Geography: Rebecca Payling; History: Phoebe Senior; Mathematics: Katherine Dale; Music: Oliver Bowett; Andrew Mawson Cup for Physical Education: Toby Osman; Barbara Selby Cup for Physical Education: Emma Ward; Poetry: Alicia Bailey; Religious Education: Freya Whiteside; Progress in Science: James Willis; Librarian’s Prize: Melissa Duheric; Junior Drama Trophy: Louisa Chatterton; Contribution Cup (Johnson House): Lucy Coates; Contribution Cup (School House): Benedict Edwards; Trophy for Integrity: Benjamin Borchard; All-Round Achievement: Louisa Chatterton.