“Trust in your teachers,” boys told at Junior Awards Ceremony

This year’s guest speaker at QE’s Junior Awards Ceremony advised boys to trust in their teachers, believe in themselves and try to be the best they could. Former School Captain Matteo Yoon (2003-2010) is currently at the BPP Law School taking the Accelerated Legal Practice Course, following his graduation from Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he read Law.

In his address as Guest of Honour, he recalled attending Junior Awards as a Year 7 student, almost 10 years ago to the day, and his pride at winning a prize. “It gave me the confidence to know that I was doing at least some things right, to be myself, to keep working hard, and to put my all into everything I did, be it sport, music, or classwork.

""During the ceremony in the School Hall, more than 100 prizes were awarded to boys from Year 7 to Year 9. These cover not only academic subjects, but also house awards, prizes for commitment and a number of endowed prizes and special awards. The audience comprised the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Hugh Rayner, QE Chairman of Governors Barrie Martin and his wife, Perin, as well as staff, Governors, parents, Old Elizabethans and the junior award-winners.

""The awards themselves should be seen as conveying a message, Matteo said: “These awards are your teachers telling you that you have the same potential as your predecessors; predecessors who are starting careers in the most exciting areas of industry; predecessors who are inspiring change.”

Matteo, who achieved two A*s and two A grades at A-Level, reflected on the support he had received from staff: “Trust in your teachers, because they know how to get the best out of you even when you feel at odds with a subject. Be it through lunchtime workshops, or quick chats after class, I owe a great deal to those sat in front of me today for helping me achieve examination results I could be proud of. If you put the same trust in them as I did, I know that you will do the same.”

""He exhorted the boys to recognise the special position they find themselves in at QE, not just compared to schools around the country, but compared with young men of their age around the world. He recommended that they grasp every opportunity presented to them, whether it be sporting, musical or intellectual, and know that in doing so, their future paths would be assured.

""Matteo was captain of his college’s Second XI football team and also played rugby for Pembroke. He played for the Cambridge University Colleges rugby XV and also represented the University at water polo. He won the Crowden Award, given for making a distinguished contribution to college life, and was twice awarded the Pembroke College Book Grant for Good Academic Performance; Matteo was also twice nominated for Pembroke College Sportsperson of the Year.

""At QE, he was a member of a number of musical ensembles, and was a finalist in the English Speaking Union Public Speaking Competition. He also won a number of School Bursary Awards for outstanding commitment.

After the ceremony, the award-winners and their families mingled with the Headmaster and teachers over refreshments.