OLD BOYS BOOST QEGS
TWO former students of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School who have gone on to achieve great things were invited back as guests of honour at the Green Road school’s annual speech day.
The event on Thursday is one of the highlights of the school year, when the headteacher, governors, pupils and guests, make speeches, interspersed with the presentation of awards for the year’s top students.
Business owner Ashley Spendlove and George Tressider, who left the school in 2011, spent the day meeting and inspiring current and past students, who were among the audience of parents, staff, dignitaries, sponsors and invited guests on the night.
Ashley, who runs a company which manages accounts with companies such as John Lewis, TK Maxx, Amazon and QVC, was the guest speaker and presented the academic prizes.
George, who presented the sports colours, has played rugby for England, captained the Leicester Tigers in the 2014 Premiership Sevens, was part of the squad who faced Argentina in a warm-up game for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and is now reading history at Oxford. Earlier this month George also gained an Oxford ‘blue’ in the Varsity game at Twickenham.
Headteacher Scott Garrity thanked the pair for coming back to QEGS. He said in his speech: “Ashley and George, it is a real honour to have you both here and I know that this means a lot to you and your families.
“Thankyou for giving us your time, particularly when you spoke to younger students, and for your time this evening to attend this awards ceremony.
“Ashley and George both represent the wealth of opportunity and talent that has been fostered and developed at this amazing school.
“Amazing, yes. I have no problem with the hyperbole for this school. In a town of only 7,000 people, with many surrounding small villages, the community and school work tirelessly to ensure QEGS students are able to live, work, achieve and compete with the very best.” Amazing was a thread through the evening, and the theme of the traditional video, which is played during the head’s speech. It is made by students and staff, and always brings some lighthearted fun to the proceedings.
Mr Garrity said: “What makes QEGS amazing? Lots of things. Last year I spoke about the holistic educational experience and the range of activities on offer here and to not simply be an exam factory. This year, I would like to be more specific and I take my inspiration and reassurance from a conference I attended earlier this month.
“The theme was ‘Pure Imagination’ and it was aimed at senior leaders in education to look at how we provide creativity in our schools and the education system.
“The significant message for me was how no machine can completely replicate our ability to be creative nor, most importantly, can it replicate our ability to dream. Being creative does not simply mean art, music and dance. Being creative means solving problems with well thought-out solutions, doing more with less. In education, we all know how that feels.
“Being creative is the ability and flair to work in groups and as a team, and yes being creative does also mean taking an interest in the arts which we are totally committed to supporting here at QEGS.
“Most importantly, we want our students and staff to dream big, to expect the best, know what they are good at, or find what they are good at and then make it even greater.
“A dream can be realistic or extremely optimistic but to not have a dream is a void that will eat away at your happiness and contentment.
“Just being a good, wellrounded person is what makes you ‘QEGS amazing.’
“Students, what is your dream? Try to live and breathe it every day.
“Well done on your successes, enjoy your festive break and I hope 2019 will be another ‘QEGS Amazing’ year for you all.” l Next week the News Telegraph will list the awards given out on the night, with more pictures of the recipients.
No machine can ever completely replicate our ability to be creative Headteacher Scott Garrity
A musical interlude by Kythe Beresford
Speech Day at QEGS
Headteacher Scott Garrity, Ashley Spendlove, executive headteacher Anne Martin, George Tresidder, chair of governors Helen Baker