After a scorching Sports Day and humid Poetry & Prose, Speech Day was disappointingly overcast. However, the mood was anything but, with bright smiles from both pupils and their families throughout the day.

The morning began with the traditional church service. Reverend Prescott spoke movingly about the troubles with which we all have to cope, thinking in particular about the recent Manchester attack. As he pointed out: “There is no charmed way round the difficulties we face in life.  Rather, faith offers a way through them – a way of continuing to hope and to trust, of continuing to walk on.”

As ever, it was good to hear such a range of voices take part in the service, with prayers from, amongst others, Ellie Harris (Year 8) and Mrs Eeles, mother of our Head Girl, taking part in what will be her final Speech Day service. The Warminster Singers  added their wonderful voices to the assembled throng.

After a reviving cup of tea in the marquee, everyone assembled in the Sports Hall and were joined by the Governors and our guest speaker, Alison Mitchell, from the Test Match Special team. The Headmaster spoke about the successes of the School this year and paid special tribute to Mr Bonnell who is relinquishing his roles as Head of Boarding and House Master of St. Boniface House. The presentation to Mr Bonnell drew warm applause from all corners of the hall. As ever, it was a delight to see so many pupils awarded prizes for their contributions to all aspects of school life. It is always pleasing to see how respected so many of the pupils are by their fellow pupils. Apart from the very popular Head Boy and Head Girl, Marco Yeung drew a very positive response as did the youngest prize recipient, Ben Drummond in Year 7, who was awarded the prize for his contribution to chapel life.

We were then treated to a fantastic talk from the guest speaker. Alison Mitchell spoke of her determination to succeed in a field not always known for its focus on equality. There is no doubt she had to show immense determination to reach her current position but pointed out that it was not the most straightforward route. She had not wanted to follow a sports focused A Level course as she was concerned it would spoil something that she did for pleasure. Above all, her message was that you should never allow people to tell you that you cannot do something; you need to push on and show that you are capable of whatever you want to achieve.

After her inspiring talk, the Head Boy, Josh Haines, and Head Girl, Claudia Eeles, thanked Alison and both spoke of their time at Warminster School which, for Josh, stretched right back to Nursery in Warminster Prep. It was clear that, for both of them, leaving Warminster School would be a tremendous wrench.

After that, we returned to the marquee where the cake had been replaced by the ubiquitous and delicious chicken goujons and the tea by Pimms. There was much discussion of Alison Mitchell’s words by pupils, parents and staff, whilst others enjoyed the music or admired the fabulous artwork in the Library. Phoenix Gibb’s triptych of his grandparents and Phoebe Scammell’s Shoes  were of particular note.

All in all, it was a fabulous day which gave everyone much to think about as they left for half term.

Jeremy Robertson

Speech Day Address          Speech Day Sermon         All Speech Day Images