On Friday 10 November, we welcomed back the Class of 2023 and their parents and carers for Awards Evening, their first event as Old Edwardians.
Held in the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, it was wonderful to see our most recent leavers, catching up with their fellow classmates to compare stories of their first months of university, or to exchange tales of their gap year activities. It was also an opportunity for them to see former teachers, and a very special occasion to share with their families.
Awards Evening is a chance to celebrate their fantastic A Level results – results that exceeded pre pandemic grades – as well as to acknowledge the contributions they had made to school life. The evening began with a vocal performance of ‘Rage Malkauns in Teetntal’ from Noor in the Upper Sixth, followed by an address from Kirsty von Malaisé, KEHS Principal.
Mrs von Malaisé congratulated the Class of 2023 on their fantastic results but reminded them that there is a lot more to come that will define them. The global challenges ahead will require a demonstration of other skills to solve challenges and think creatively. She continued,
‘The school defines its aims as such: of going far beyond your grade cards on Results Day, important as those have been in opening doors, and testament to your determination and rigour. We don’t only provide such a rich array of opportunities because they are fun, not an unimportant aim in itself, but because we believe that through undertaking them, you will be better prepared to live life to the full.’
A performance of Schubert’s Allegro Moderato from Sonata for Arpeggione and Piano, D821 by Emmy in Upper Sixth followed before certificates were presented by our special guest and keynote speaker, Jules Parke-Robinson (OE 1993).
Following the presentation of certificates Jules spoke of her time at school, the things she had learnt, and how she has used those qualities throughout her career – experiences that she still draws upon now. She talked of confidence, ambition, resilience and empathy. These qualities that have seen her through her roles in the Army for 20 years, where she became Commanding Officer of the Special Investigation Branch Regiment, leading her team in Iraq, to her now corporate roles, where she leads a team within a workforce of 69,000. She spoke of her family and their influences on her (and was delighted to be joined by her two sisters in the audience who they themselves are also Old Edwardians). She encouraged the audience to take opportunities when they arise – she herself chose to defer her entry to Sandhurst to play rugby for Wales at the World Cup.
The 2023 Creak Prize winners Shreya Machado and Chloe Graham-Major (OEs 2023) shared some of their thoughts and learnings from their time at KEHS, and thanked Jules for her inspiring speech, presenting her with a bouquet of flowers.
The evening concluded with drinks and canapés in the Dining Hall with family and friends.
Good luck to the Class of 2023, keep in touch, and we look forward to welcoming you back to more events in the future!