Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from EHS

Speech Day celebrates hard work and achievement

15 November 2019

On Friday last week, members of the school's Governing Council, staff, parents and students gathered for Speech Day in the University of Birmingham’s prestigious Great Hall. A highlight of the Senior School calendar, this is the occasion on which our most recent leavers are welcomed back for the formal presentation of their GCSE and A Level success certificates, and current girls are awarded School Prizes.

The evening was presided over by Sir Dominic Cadbury, President of the School. After his opening address and a report from Mr Jeremy Payne, Chair of Council, Mrs Macro then gave her very first report as Headmistress of Edgbaston High School.

It was then the turn of the Leadership Team to give their address. Head Girl and Deputy Head Girls Anya Oates, Zaineb Al-Ani and Lydia Diwaker spoke about their own heroines, summarising how they had battled against adversity to reach their goals, despite knock backs and failures. 

The qualities of resilience and determination were to be themes that continued throughout the evening. We were delighted to be joined by Laura Chung who was Guest Speaker and Prize Giver for the evening. Laura who left EHS in 2009 currently works as an international marketing manager for PayPal. She is also co-founder of DevelopHer, a women’s network community that encourages women in tech to develop their confidence and careers through community-based learning opportunities such as mentoring and coaching programmes. A highlight included inviting over 100 women to 10 Downing Street to attend a speed mentoring event. 

In her encouragement for girls to ‘fall forward’ she spoke about how instead of letting failure, or fear of failure, hold her back she had instead used her own disappointments as a learning opportunity, acknowledging how setbacks can often be a useful step towards personal growth and achieving your final goal. We would like to extend our grateful thanks again to Laura for giving her time so generously and wish her luck with her imminent move to Singapore.

The evening was enhanced by musical interludes from the school’s exceptional choirs. Ably led by Mr Skilbeck, the Senior Choir’s invigorating rendition of ‘The New World’ by Jason Robert Brown was followed by a moving performance of ‘May the Road Rise to Meet You’ by Michael Higgins from the Chamber Choir.

The ceremony closed with a Vote of Thanks from the Head Girl and a presentation of flowers to the speaker, offered by the Prep School’s Head and Deputy Head Girl Sofia and Nadia. 

This year’ Speech Day was a fitting occasion at which to welcome back ‘Year 14’ as our newest cohort of 'Old Girls'; we are proud of their success, wish them well in their endeavours after EHS and look forward to welcoming them back to school again in the near future. 

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