Senior Awards: rewarding and inspiring high achievers

QE’s highest achievers were rewarded for their endeavours at the School’s Senior Awards Ceremony.

Well over 100 prizes were awarded to boys from Year 10 to the Sixth Form at the event in the School Hall, one of the academic highlights of the QE calendar.

In his welcome, Headmaster Neil Enright pointed out that winning awards in the highly competitive context of QE requires truly outstanding performance that combines ability with sustained, focused effort.

""The Guest of Honour was Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle. Born in South Africa, he not only has a distinguished career as a logician, but also successfully led the transformation of that country’s Stellenbosch University from an institution closely associated with the former apartheid regime into a multi-racial, academically strong university.

Professor Brink grew up in a small town on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, with no opportunities for travel until he left South Africa at the age of 24 to start his PhD at Cambridge. “It doesn’t matter where you come from; it is where you end up that matters”, he told the audience of parents, guests, staff and boys. However, while highlighting the importance of boys “overcoming disadvantage” by making the most of their abilities, he also stressed that they should not lose sight of the need to contribute to society as they became successful in life – “overcoming advantage”, as he put it.

""The Headmaster said: “Professor Brink gave an inspirational speech which drew on his own experience, yet resonated perfectly with our own ethos as a School which is both a meritocracy and is also committed to developing in our boys a sense of social responsibility.”

The evening was punctuated by a series of musical interludes from some of the School’s leading musicians. The repertoire ranged from pieces by Brahms, Bozza and Saint-Saëns to a recessional composed and directed by QE’s Director of Music, Kieron Howe.