Speech Day is the culmination of what is a hugely busy half of term and is the highlight of the School year. It's where everyone draws together and we celebrate the pupil’s hard work and successes and take a reflective look back on the year.

I am in the enviable position of being both a parent and a member of staff here at Warminster, so I have the privilege of seeing Speech Day from both sides. Ten Speech Days in and I can safely say none of them have been the same!

The run up to Speech Day is always a frenetic one as it’s the time we get to showcase the School at its best. The grounds, the food, gathering of trophies, the flowers and the cakes! Nominating the prize-winners is taken very seriously. The books the winners choose and much more. This all happens unseen and allows the day to run seamlessly.

Speech day is always preceded by Poetry and Prose the night before. This is a relaxed, sometimes raucous, but always fun evening with a picnic and some refreshments, usually of the alcoholic kind and this year was no exception. I do not believe I have ever seen the marquee as packed!

Every year there is a sweepstake amongst staff about the length of the Headmasters speech. This is discussed in great detail and previous years and previous speech times come into play. “Will he go shorter? Is there any give away from Poetry and Prose? Anyone slipped Jenni his PA a tenner to divulge the length? Has she overheard him in the corridors of power?”  The Headmaster spoke of the challenging and exciting times of the workplace of the future, how our pupils need to be prepared for this with soft skills and co-curricular activities that we at Warminster are so successful at equipping our pupils with.

This year there were some new faces up on the stage. Katie Mines, our new Bursar. Lt Gen Urch, Old Verlucian – a former pupil. We are lucky enough to have three OV’s on our board of Governors, which is great for the School.

This year we were privileged to have Lord Karan Bilimoria, as a speaker – the founder of Cobra Beer. It came as a great surprise to learn that he had attended St George’s Primary School and Kingdown in Warminster.  His message that anyone can achieve anything, swiftly followed the Headmaster's whose message had been very similar. He was an engaging, funny, eloquent and humbling speaker and his message was a powerful one. There was also the added bonus of Cobra Beer in the Marquee afterwards!

We were treated to a snapshot of the Lion King Jr with the opening song. You could have heard a pin drop and it was a prelude to the fantastic show that was to come.

Our Head Boy, Xander Veitch and Head Girl, Abigail Cadwallader, rounded off proceedings eloquently.  They both had a message, Xander’s echoed the thoughts of the Headmaster and Lord Bilimoria and Abigail spoke about the effect that her years at Warminster had had on her and it’s preparation for her future.

It was a fabulous day, which I think, gave everyone food for thought and was the perfect start to half term.

Stella Aldridge, Development & Alumni Relations

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