THE importance of leadership was the theme of a talk given by Ripon Grammar headmaster Martin Pearman at the school's annual speech day.
Speaking to pupils, staff, parents and governors, Mr Pearman discussed how leadership was important in meeting challenges – exemplified by the day’s special guest, top British mountaineer Alan Hinkes, one of only 12 men to climb the 14 highest mountains in the world.
Mr Pearman said: “The daily challenges faced by all of the staff and students here in fulfilling your potential, wherever that may lie, require leadership.”
When the headmaster addressed his speech day audience 12 months ago, the campaign to raise 750,000 to build a new sports hall for the school had only just started.
But in the past year, because the Adding Sporting Excellence campaign has proved so successful, the target was raised to 1m so an astroturf pitch could also be built. As reported last week, the campaign is just 9,000 short of reaching its 1m target and Mr Pearman told his audience construction would begin very soon with work due to be completed next year.
He said: “The school had never raised more than 50,000 before through fundraising so this was an immense challenge.
“The leadership shown by all the campaign team has been outstanding. Without the vision and the leadership this project would not have been realised and all of the people who have contributed can feel immensely proud of what has been achieved.”
Mr Pearman discussed a few well-known leaders – Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama – showing how people are not born leaders but develop the quality of leadership as they face challenges the world gives them.
He said: “You may think that all this stuff about leadership has nothing to do with you – wrong.
“We all have the capability to be a leader at the right time, the right place and in the right circumstances.”
The headmaster told his audience that pupils at the school were already showing leadership qualities.
He said: “Many of the students here are junior sports leaders providing role models for younger students both here and in local primary schools.
“I am delighted that Ripon Grammar is playing its part in developing leaders of the future and developing the skills and attributes needed to lead in the future of this country.”
Mr Pearman then discussed the changes and successes the school had seen in the last 12 months, including getting a 100 per cent pass rate at A-level for the first time and the best results ever at GCSE in terms of A*/A grades awarded.
To celebrate another successful year at the school, special guest Alan Hinkes was then invited to present prizes to pupils.
GCSE: History – Amelia Tearle; Elsie Peckett Memorial Prize for Science – Talitha Kersey; Jim Spence Memorial Prize for Science – Daniel Barrett; Creative Writing – Giles Pitts.
A-LEVEL: De Grey Awards - Major (four grade As) – Charlotte Ashford, Paul Brian, William Butterworth, Victoria Garbutt, Laura Gilbert, Hannah Hurrell, Gaynor Loraine, Christian Mackintosh, Laura McDonald, Sophie McEvoy, Sarah Mosley, Jack Newsome, George Owram, Christopher Partridge, Gareth Phillips, Thomas Ravalde, King Hei So, Sarah Thornton, Katie Whitehouse, Hannah Wray; De Grey Awards - Minor (three grade As, one grade B) – Conor Bagnall, Katharine Bagnall, Sarah Greenslade, Samantha Hall, Thomas Hughes, Emily Reed, Rosie Richardson, Charlotte Whincup, Helen Wilson, Jane Wong; Mathematics – Charlotte Whincup; Chemistry – Paul Brian; Physics – Daniel Smedley; Biology – Sarah Thornton; English Literature – Victoria Garbutt; History – George Owram; Art and Design – Alexandra Culshaw; French – Hannah Wray; Business Studies – Charlotte Merson; Classics – Katharine Bagnall; Design Technology – Madison Curzon; Drama and Theatre Studies – Heather Thornton; Economics – Hannah Hurrell; Geography – Laura McDonald; German – Christian Mackintosh; Psychology – Sophie McEvoy; Religious Studies – Thomas Ravalde.
TROPHIES AND SPECIAL AWARDS: David Fisher Prize for the Head of School House – Samuel Watkinson; Marguerite Terry Prize for the Head of Johnson House – Serena Jones; Ripon High School Old Girls' Jubilee Prize for the Head Girl – Alexandra Robinson; Old Riponians' Prize for the Head Boy – Benedict Clancy; Operatic Society Trophy for Contribution to School Music – Andrew Cox; Alethea Charlton Trophy for Drama – George Owram; Deborah Williamson Trophy for Sport – Laura Gilbert; Dyson Trophy for Commitment to Music – Oliver Norman; Brian Stanley Cup for Engineering – Thomas Brown; Miss Cullingworth's Prize for Progress in Sixth Form Studies – Charlotte Merson; Harrogate Borough Council Prize for Progress in Sixth Form Studies – Christopher Partridge; Cathedral Prize for Service to the Community – Paul Brian; Da Costa Award for Outstanding Female Sporting Achievement – Alexandra Culshaw; Da Costa Award for Outstanding Male Sporting Achievement – Alexander Porter; Gladys Hall Memorial Rose Bowl for Service to the School – Helen Wilson; Philip Mortimer Trophy for Service to the School – Euan Raffel; Bill Latto Trophy for All-Round Achievement – George Owram; Robert Atkinson Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Achievement – Paul Brian.