Dr Maloney's Prize Giving Address for 2013

BEDES SNR 2013_0080

Speech Days and Prize Giving always have a double emotion.

On the one hand, and in all joyfulness, we gather to honour our pupils' successes and achievements. On the other hand, we know we will also say goodbye to others who won't be with us in September. Some of those leaving will be pupils, others will be members of staff. Each of their lives, once they drive away from the beauty of Bede's spot in the South Downs, will never quite be the same again.

Just a few weeks ago I was privileged to be at one of the most imaginatively staged performances of Twelfth Night I have seen. Back in the late-1980s I was lucky enough to study Shakespeare's Twelfth Night as part of my English A Level. Since that time I have seen numerous productions of the play, but never have I seen as brilliant a portrayal of Malvolio as delivered by Jake Smallwood: the dynamism, the humour, the bravery of performing comedy with a tragic edge. And the most brilliantly, wretchedly, horrific-looking Toby Belch played by, I'm sure she'll be pleased to know, an unrecognisable Georgia Ellis; Natty Wilby courageously doing what every Englishman (apparently) secretly desires (which was to forego the usual order of vestments to play the noble Lady Olivia). The imagination of the stage set, the joy of seeing our Lower Sixth Theatre Studies pupils creatively driving their production to exceptional heights.

As you will remember, Twelfth Night opens with the lines:

If music be the food of love, play on

Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,

The appetite might sicken, and so die

That strain again, it has a dying fall!

O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound

That breathes upon a bank of violets,

Stealing and giving odour. Enough, no more;

'Tis not so sweet now as it was before

The music heard by the love-sick Orsino, Duke of Illyria, only serves through its emotive power to make him more melancholic. Those of us who love music know of its capacity to change mood, to enlighten, to refine the senses and to inspire. And, I make no apologies for this: today a musical theme will thread through Speech Day whilst we enjoy the next while reflecting on our pupils' sporting, artistic, creative, intellectual and academic achievements. Today, Mr Barclay, who will be presenting the prizes, leaves us after 40 years - a career lifetime's -- involvement with the Trust. So many Bede's pupils have benefitted from his inspiration and charisma that it would be remiss not to celebrate the gifts music brings us. Mr Barclay is today, as you know, our Guest of Honour.

School years have rhythms. Things happen in a seemingly pre-ordained pattern: the beginning of term, reacquainting ourselves with old friends, looking forward to finding out who will be teaching whom. Who will be in my set? Will I be in the 'B' team again or might I just make the 'As'? What will our head of house be like? Will Headmaster's assembly be any more interesting this year? Who is that new teacher?

Every school year is a fresh start, a chance to put behind us the wrongs of previous years and to build on previous successes.

I have oft said that Bede's is the busiest school I know. So much happens here. Why? Because we allow it to. Our pupils are not restricted in their choices. They are not instructed as to what their interests ought to be. They are not compelled to forsake what they love for what is expedient.

We are so busy because so much is allowed to happen. The chance for our brilliant pupils to immerse themselves in what they love. To be led by teachers and coaches who are equally committed to drawing the best out of our pupils. Experts who desire to liberate our pupils' creativity, passions and interest.

My colleagues and I enjoy being at school as much as I hope our pupils do.

So, every year, that pre-ordained pattern begins; bigger than any individual yet fixed in the collective consciousness. There are events to attend each week of each term. More than ever and all to be attended and enjoyed.

The first of which is House Music. House Music is a unique school event where every person in every house competes. On an October Friday evening, we all come into this hall, which is bedecked as a concert venue with lighting and speaker systems that rival the 'O2'.

On this topic of MPH transformation, earlier this term the MPH became the location for the Bede's Rave - an event, sadly, where I wasn't asked by the School Prefects to choose the music or, even better, to 'spin the decks'. Instead several - very young - professional DJs arrived with enormous speakers to play a selection of deafeningly percussive House, Electronic and Dubstep that reverberated around Upper Dicker. I promise there will be no reprise of that music this morning.

But back to House Music. This year, breaking with three decades of tradition, the boys houses joined the girls houses (instead of the other way around). In full-throated form, each house sang 'Big Song' with gusto, raising the roof with enthusiasm and musical energy in an attempt to persuade the judges of their superiority over their rivals. Then to 'small song' where the house choirs each sing a piece, both beautiful and thoroughly-rehearsed. Their aim is to impress before the House Band arrive to 'plug in' and blow the audience away with their rocky punchiness.

The 'Small Song' is sung not only by our musical geniuses but by 'amateur' musicians, often lured and persuaded into joining in.

Not that it matters - after all it is the taking part that counts, surely - but in the case of this year's winners I couldn't be more wrong: to Dorter and Mr Leggett - for it was they who triumphed - winning was everything. The celebrations at the end of the Champions League final - or perhaps Arsenal's triumphant ascent to fourth place in the Premier League - had nothing on the Dorter celebrations.

Last Summer our pupils achieved the best academic results in the history of the School. Our A Level results saw nearly three-quarters of grades awarded at A* to B. Our pupils achieved better at A Level than a number of our local competitor HMC schools and showed that Bede's means business, not just on the sport fields, but in the classroom too. The GCSE results attained by our - now - Lower Sixth were the highest ever. What is more, I know this year's Upper Fifth will be even better. Why? Have we become a sausage-factory enslaved to academic narrowness? Absolutely not. Indeed, the very opposite is true.

Our pupils are proud of themselves and their work. Our teachers aim to inspire academic ambition and show our pupils how brilliant they can be. The work outside the classroom: the music, dance, drama, debate, sport are the reasons for our success. A holistic education allows success to breed success, confidence to inspire confidence. A well-rounded, immersive education, enshrouded in the spirit of active house-based pastoral care, allows children to excel. We are proud of our breadth of humanity and our breadth of talent but we are also proud of our ambition and our rigour and our success. Those successes don't come easy, even to people like James Baldwin, who gained 9 A* grades at GCSE last year, or Alice Brammer and Jimmy Lee who gained seven. We are equally proud of pupils who achieve above and beyond their expectations in their public exams: Tom Bradley, Henry Nathan and Sally Oyemade certainly spring to mind in this respect.

Our Winter Term is the girls hockey and boys and girls football season. Once again there were wonderful team performances as well as some notable individual achievements. The Girls Hockey 1st XI narrowly lost out in the semi-final of the Sussex cup to Hurstpierpoint College (who were the eventual winners). Happily, Bede's then convincingly won the South Plate scoring more than twenty goals in their four matches. Their coach, Mr Minister, singled out specific praise for Phoebe Picken in First Year, Beth Giddings in the lower fifth, Megan Wrenn in the Upper Fifth. In the First team Maddy Smith, Anouska Greenaway, Maisie Trafford were all exceptional. Furthermore, and to our considerable pride, Alicia Caillard and Daisy Strange were integral members of the East Grinstead Ladies First XI hockey team that were promoted to the National League this season.

Most of the boys hockey takes place in the Spring Term. This year there were some exceptional performances form the junior hockey sides and in particular Joe Billings and Jamie Fielding. In the seniors, there were excellent individual performances from Oliver Taplin and captain Theo Allport (who will be missed in cricket as much as hockey) and goalkeeper Max Fisher (who is also an excellent rower).

We thank Mr Minister for his excellent contribution to Bede's hockey as he moves on to study for a PGCE in the near future.

Back in the first term, the boys and girls football teams enjoyed, as they so often have before, national success. The boys First XI retained - an unprecedented achievement - their National ISFA 6-a-side title (they are the first school to do so in 42 years). A few days later the girls matched the boys by also becoming national sixes champions. Adam Forrester led the boys First XI wonderfully well - and with the same maturity and sensitivity with which he has led Camberlot House. Outstanding individual achievements this year came from Rilwan Olugbode who scored the winning goal for Sussex County U18's in the National Final; Matthew Morrish was a part of the squad that day as well. Other notable achievements saw Jacob Merrick representing the ISFA U16 national side - Jacob got to play against Atletico Madrid - what a wonderful experience; that said, it should be noted that Jacob also got to play against Millwall and Blackburn Rovers.

Sophie Rudge, an exceptional musician as well, has played for the women's ISFA team as well as being part of the Brighton and Hove Albion set-up. Elena South was a terrific captain who has enjoyed winning two National titles in her time at Bede's. Indeed, Kayleigh Bonwick, Paula Schaper, Georgia Tibble, Elena South and Abbie Steinegger were all selected to represent the South East of England ISFA team. Girls football is very strong at Bede's and, like their male counterparts, the women also reached the last eight of the ISFA National competition.

We shouldn't forget that Bede's has an impressive equestrian team. Riding is a demanding, physical sport that few schools are privileged to offer. In September, we qualified for the National Schools Equestrian Association Championships and our riding team, which consisted of Hugo Godwin, the irrepressible Charlie Marshall, Megan Wrenn and Alex Young trekked off to Buckinghamshire in October. They rode exceptionally well under the pressure of a huge event and were placed 3rd out of 27 teams - drawn from across the nation - in their class. Later in the school year, in May, the team competed at The Royal Windsor Horse Show and came 5th out of 38 teams. Beth Giddings joined the team for this event - and she herself is a very talented hunt rider.

Bede's has many talented riders who compete at the highest levels. A number train and bring on their own horses outside of school. For example, Hannah Sutch has brought a pony on to British Eventing standard. Mollie Freeman excels in Dressage. Felicity Collins, who is only in the lower fifth, not only trains her own horses but was placed 16th in the UK - including adult riders - at the recent Three Day National Championships at Brand Hall in Shropshire. Earlier this month, the 15-year-old Felicity came 4th in an event won by Andrew Nicholson who is ranked as the world's number one rider. These pupils train and care for their horses in their own time, every day of every month: what exceptional commitment.

Soon the Autumn Term becomes properly Winter as trees become (and remained) bare and coldness envelops the Downs. We of course remain cheery at this time of darkness and damp because (1) it never rains in Upper Dicker and (2) Cabaret takes place. This year, so that Mr Barclay could recapture his very best years, we had a 1978 Disco Theme. Our Legat students, led by the wonderful Ben Brown, a former Royal Ballet School pupil, opened with the most sumptuously seventies costumes accompanied by authentic seventies gyrations.

As well as the dancing and food, the quality of the recitals and music showed tremendous composure, skill and energy. Idris Ellis and Natty Wilby showed us that boys really can sing; Anna Moody, recently selected for the internationally-renowned Verbier Youth Music Festival, demonstrated her exceptional talent; Olivia Prince-Smith and Sally-Ann Wild showed the conveyor belt of vocal talent is still turning; our lower sixth vocal soloists will capably succeed the outstanding Rudges, Calvert-Veerbruggens and Auers next year.

Perhaps Cabaret's capacity to charm is best illustrated by Alice Auer, one of this year's school prefects and a leading light in the Bede's musical world. Alice, who next year will study Music Performance, will sing for us a number called 'Taylor the Latte Boy' by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich.

In my own mind at least, School Assembly is the highlight of the school week. Certainly, on the 18 March that really was the case. Why? Well, largely because the event was run by our Community Links activity group. Schools must recognise that they are a fundamental part of their local community. This is not just in terms of bestowing largesse by allowing community groups access to the School's facilities: a genuine community-minded school gets out into the community to try to make a difference.

Under the inspired leadership of Mrs De Mallet-Morgan, the Community Links activity have shown imagination, inventiveness, inspiration and, most importantly, involvement.

Increasingly led by the pupils, the Community Links group have worked this year with Chailey Hospital, Eastbourne Hospital Voluntary Service, Park Mead and Broad Oak Primary Schools, and members of the local community.

Knowing that Bedians like Soroush Bahreini, Mohammed Al Manea, Angela Hermann, Abigail Steinegger have supported children and young adults with complex disabilities at Chailey Heritage makes me exceptionally proud. To hear that Soroush has also volunteered at Eastbourne Hospital every Tuesday afternoon of his own volition is humbling. Seeing young people like Tom Bradley, Rory Yeadon and Mischel Fuskova going out and actively supporting members of the local community is inspiring. Despite the pressure of public exams, Tilly Corbett and Tracy Aryee-Quao have heard Park Mead pupils read every Tuesday afternoon this term.

And so, on the 18 of March, the whole school watched Andrew Brundle take charge of and conduct a choir of 30 Year 6 pupils from Broad Oak Primary School. By the end of the assembly, Andrew, Ben Saw and Marianne Garrett were joined by the School in the most joyous mass sing-a-long. Our morning, day and week was lifted. Anna Walters-Woodhead and her team then organised an action-packed morning for the primary schoolchildren.

If any of you should be doubting the capacity for unselfishness and humanity in today's teenagers, I defy you not to have your faith restored in young people by our pupils' creative and voluntary work in their community. Our 'Make a Difference Day' last week typified this Bedian altruism with our pupils actively helping and supporting other people. I am truly proud of the commitment and the joy our pupils took from their day.

The creative arts remain inspired. Last year you will recall we said goodbye to Mr Graham who had given thirty years of service to the School. Having built the very best art department in the country during his tenure, this year we stepped forward confidently into the 'Turner era', knowing that the fundamentals were in place for continued success. We have not been disappointed. In my first three years at Bede's, fourteen students left us in each of those years to study art and design courses at university. This year, Mr Turner and his team failed to match that number of fourteen: indeed, I have to report that instead they managed to place nineteen of our pupils at art school.

Why is Bede's success in the creative arts important? Firstly, independent schools can sometimes be too narrow in their academic focus. Some other schools set aside the creative and aesthetic without appreciating the intellectual, expressive and cultural range the creative arts offer. You just need to spend time in the art studios watching our Upper Sixth work to see the burning intensity of intellectual and creative energy; the research; the thoughtfulness; the experimentation; the failures; before, ultimately, the success. To stifle this human urge to creativity is to stifle human potential. Secondly, the United Kingdom has a global reputation for design and innovation. Apple's most famous designer, Jonathan Ive, is from Chingford; British creative branding work is globally sought after; British art schools are in demand by the best overseas students. As a school, we want to contribute the future to that global reputation.

This year Kaz Johnson-Salami, the Deputy Head of School, and Ivy Jiang both have places at the prestigious Central St Martin's College of Art and Design - as difficult to get in to as any Oxford or Cambridge college. We have artists going to study Fine Art at Leeds (India Pearce); at the Munich Fashion School (Laura Aiello-Esmod) and the Marangoni Institute in London (Andrea Stefanova); we have Interior Architects (Abisola Gbadamosi who was also nominated for Young International Designer of the Year); we also have ten students beginning foundation diplomas as a precursor to their degree courses.

Furthermore, Mr Potter's DT department had ten products entered in the 'Young Craftsman of the Year Competition' and four items exhibited at the South of England show. Those of you who attended the GCSE and A Level Design Technology exhibition will have seen work of the very highest quality. Indeed, the wittiness of some of the pieces, for example, Alistair Brazier's wooden Tardis, only underlines the quality and creativity of manufacture and design. So, in time, the chairs you sit on, the products you buy, the clothes you wear and the art you gaze at will have been created by some of the pupils sat in this space today. What a wonderful accolade for our school, our educational philosophy and, of course, the teachers in our art and design departments.

Debating is returning to the fore at Bede's. For the second year running, we hosted the Wealden Debating Competition to which all the secondary schools in Wealden are invited. Over two weeks, the teams were whittled down to the sharpest debaters and in the final Bede's could not lose. Both our representatives made it through to the final which was judged by Sky's Adam Boulton and Chris Dowling the Chairman of East Sussex County Council. In the end, Zac Khan from Knights House edged clear of his fellow Knight Asher Pearl. A wonderful testimony to our debaters and particularly to Knights - one might be forgiven for asking what does being so good at arguing say about Knights House…?

Under the leadership of Ms Holland, Legat is a happy, forward-looking place to be. Our dancers performed throughout the School year with versatility, skill and exuberance. It is a delight to spend an evening in their company. Our dancers are trained to the highest and most exacting standards, putting in more than twenty hours every week - in addition to their school work - to realise their ambitions.

Their teachers are of the highest standard, a point demonstrated at the first Legat Choreographic Evening, a showcase of the students own works, which was judged by Matthew Hart - formerly a principal with the Royal Ballet - and our very own Paul Liburd who is ex-Scottish Ballet. That evening was won by Elena Barwell in the Senior Category and Emily Crow and Jennah Mackenzie du Lieu in the juniors. This year Dame Beryl Grey, our Patron, awarded the inaugural Legat Awards to Sophie Bartlett and Amira Davidson for excellence; and to Gabrielle Martin and Phoenix Tanner for inspiration.

We wish all our leaving dancers every success in their careers and thank Ms Holland and her team for their wonderful contribution to Legat.

Netball is no longer simply as one-term sport with the two senior teams competing in the year-round Ladies Eastbourne League. The junior side finished third in their division, and were undefeated in their last eight games. Unfortunately the first team were relegated to Division two - however I think they were more Wigan than QPR. Captain Mia Harvey, Maisie Trafford and Anouska Greenway have been part of the Sussex U19 squad. Next year's netballers can look forward to a tour of Barbados in February 2014. A tough life…

It has been an excellent year for Junior Netball. Participation levels have been extremely high and as a result we fielded five junior netball teams; two at under fifteen and three at under fourteens. At Under 15 level Katie Mann, Grace Morton and Charlotte Shooter-Harris have performed strongly with Charlotte in the Sussex Netball Squad. Our first years are excitingly strong and promise much for the future. Anna Dagwell has been outstanding and well supported by Ros Manning and Emma Thornett.

Bedians play many sports throughout the year and I hesitate to use the word 'minority' simply because participating in any pursuit is major - and requires major dedication by those involved. Rugby players like Harry Reilly, who has represented the Irish Exiles this season, or the giant Josh Novell who has played for the Welsh Exiles and the Sussex 'year above'. Similarly Harry Walker and Will Tidy have represented Sussex whilst many other pupils have contributed to our rugby teams this year, culminating in a very creditable semi-final placing in the Sussex sevens tournament.

Our athletics team has doubled in number these past two years - perhaps the positive residual from the London Olympics. We have competed strongly in county athletics and enjoyed Maddy Smith's national standard performances in the cross-country (she won the inter-house event by - I kid you not - almost ten minutes). Recently, George Marsh ran a county record of 10.80 in the Sussex Schools Championship 100m. That is very fast indeed and would have been good enough to pip American Ralph Craig to the gold medal at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm.

Our basketball players finished a very respectable fourth in the local independent schools league with Florin Gheorghiu, Edwin Cheung and Bryan Kwan to the fore. The golfers have enjoyed their season with our lowest handicappers Sam Prince-Smith, Cameron Brown and Max Flavell performing creditably. Marcos Segura was selected for the English Schools Shooting First Team and is the first Bedian to achieve this honour. Given that Marcos only took up the sport in 20-11, this is an even more remarkable achievement. Our squash and badminton teams have been out in force throughout the year and scored some excellent victories against other schools.

The Summer Term, certainly the first half, is a haze of activity. If my recollection serves me correctly, there were only three evenings in the first half without some form of event taking place. The energies and creativity of the year culminate in a rich landscape of performances, recitals and examination-driven drama productions. We have not been disappointed this year and enjoyed some genuinely innovative devised pieces from our UVIth and LVIth performing arts students which challenged the audience to watch drama differently. We were taken out of our comfort zones as much as the cast were. A tribute to the innovation and ambition of Mrs Cakebread and her excellent team.

Similarly, our musicians were out in force with recitals taking place alongside the annual BTEC gig. We say goodbye to some stunning musicians this year and we are all grateful to Sophie Rudge, Mabel Calvert-Verbruggen, Zac Khan, Alice Auer, Roberta Testori, Rupert Colegrave and Stephen Lawrence for their exceptional contribution to Bede's cultural life.

During summer term 2012, the weather washed out the cricket season for many of our cricketers. Although our First XI managed to reach the National 20/20 final at Arundel, losing narrowly to Millfield, many of our younger players suffered wash out after wash out. Although chilly, the reverse has been true this year. Few - if any - games have been lost to British drizzle.

The 2nd XI led by Andrew Anthony have played with vim and vigour, playing out a number of dramatic matches. The Under 15s have shown real potential and 'match nerve' in holding off a strong Charterhouse side a week or two ago and tying with Brighton College off the last ball of the match. The First Years have found it harder but will come good as the years progress.

Our First XI have had an exceptional season. They have retained their South of England championship and enjoyed victories against Eton, Charterhouse, Tonbridge, King's Canterbury, Whitgift, Lancing, Ardingly, Eastbourne College, Brighton College - bowling most of those teams out for a double-figure score - and, most impressively, comfortably winning against the MCC. Callum Jackson has represented - and is soon to captain - the England U19 side and he, Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Elliott Hooper have represented the Sussex Senior XIs. A number of other boys and girls have represented Sussex at various age groups, including Georgia Tibble who clean-bowled former Essex opening batsman John Stephenson in the RNCF charity cricket match.

Mrs Salmon's tennis machine continues to purr along. So far this season, the boys and girls U19 sides have qualified for the National Finals in Sheffield. The finals take place in July and place our tennis players in the top 16 teams in the country. Our tennis players have won ten trophies so far this year: Sussex Independent Schools Boys titles at every level (U15, U16 and U18); Sussex Cup Girls U18; Sussex Cup Boys U18; Sussex Cup Boys U14; Sussex Shield Boys U16; Sussex Shield Girls U16; Girls Sussex Shield U15; Boys Sussex Shield U15.

The Boys first teams at all levels are unbeaten this year from U14, U15, U16, U18 and U19 and the same is true for the senior girls. Winning is, however, only a small part of competing and playing. All our tennis-playing students can be proud of their development, teamwork and attitude. They show courtesy and warmth to their opponents and recognise the value of sport in and of itself. Our teams have been superbly led by Captains Logan Burgess-Hayes and the multi-gifted and extraordinary Helen Clements. A special mention also to first years Alex Romay, Alex Abaza and Josh Goldin who have played the most matches of all our players and remain unbeaten.

What a time for our summer sports. Each of our senior cricket and tennis teams have reached the national finals. This is an exceptional and unique achievement and says wonderful things about Bede's sport. I might also add that our Volleyball team were crowned National Independent Schools Volleyball Champions on Wednesday this week. This is the time of year when we say goodbye to people. For me, this becomes increasingly poignant as another group of fine young people leave us to enter the adult world. I have thoroughly enjoyed the company of this year's Upper Sixth and know that they depart as admirable young adults well-qualified both academically and as people to take on a world that will require resourcefulness, flexibility and adaptability.

They have contributed great richness to our community and leave a legacy that will live on in the minds of the younger pupils. There is no greater accolade for this year's prefect teams - school and house - than that their peers recognise that Bede's is a better place for the work and leadership of Mia and her team. You will hear from Mia, our exceptional Head of School, later this morning.

We also say goodbye to a number of staff this year:

To Jim MacDonnell, an inspirational teacher, who joined us temporarily for sixth months ter Mr Edwards left for Essex.

To Aurelien Tille (1 year) our charming, charismatic and urbane language assistant.

To Natalie Bannister (1 year) whose intelligence and hard work have helped transform our ever-expanding media studies department.

Amelia Baxter (nearly 2 years) who originally joined us temporarily for two weeks, leaves us teach her true academic love - Geography - at the Hastings Academy.

Jose Martinez (4 years) joined Bede's at the same time as me and has shown himself to be a teacher of exceptional talent and charisma. Unflappable, thoughtful and always smiling, Jose leaves us to take up a deserved promotion as Head of Languages at Lingfield Notre Dame School.

Marc Rattray (5 years) leaves us after five years to move to Lord Wandsworth College in Hampshire. An old-Tonbridgian, Marc brought a rigorous traditionalism to the classroom that many of our pupils have been grateful for. He has led the Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics department - indeed he has been my own head of department - with ambition and the subject flourishes because of his leadership. Marc also set up and ran the Speech Society and he is single-handedly responsible for recruiting the eclectic and inspiring range of speakers we all have enjoyed. Thank you Marc for your wonderful contribution to the School.

Sarah Cakebread (9 years) is an inspiration to us all. Generations of Bedians have benefitted from her passion, commitment, high-standards and compassion for each of her pupils. We all recognise her desire to do the best by her pupils, placing them at the centre of all she does. Her productions are of the highest standard and it is down to her that Bede's enjoys the high reputation for performance it does. Sarah steps back from the intensity of running a major and thriving department to, finally, spend more time with her family and, in particular, her daughter Elizabeth who starts school this year. She will be much-missed by us all. Thank you Sarah: you leave a wonderful legacy.

Ed Dickie (12 years) has had a long involvement with Bede's. He has taught here for twelve years; run Deis House for seven; led the politics department; served as head of sixth form; helped build the library in his university holidays; enjoyed, supported and participated in everything he can. He is committed, hard-working, widely-respected and known by everyone. A popular teacher, an excellent housemaster, Ed has been responsible for delivering many of the innovations we have introduced in recent years. Ed thoroughly deserves his promotion to Deputy Head at Claremont Senior School and we wish him and his family every success as they move on this summer.

This week in 1973 10CC were top of the charts with 'Rubber Bullets' and were soon to be followed by Slade singing 'Skweeze Me Pleeze Me'. The Queen had only been on the throne for 21 years and Edward Heath was the Prime Minister. That year, the UK had entered - as it was then known - the EEC on the 1st of January and the Open University awarded its first degrees. On the 26th of March women were admitted into the British Stock Exchange for the First Time. Inflation was running at 8.4% and Pink Floyd released their seminal album Dark Side of the Moon which was to remain in the chart for a record-breaking 741 weeks.

Also that year (1973), on a sunny afternoon, Peter Pyemont drove his pride and joy, an MG, to Eastbourne Station. He was to fetch a young applicant for the music vacancy that had arisen at St Bede's Prep School in Eastbourne. Peter arrived at the station in good time, identified the candidate - still bleeding from an operation to remove his wisdom teeth the day before - and showed him to his sports car. Which promptly broke down.

And so began Andrew Barclay's long and successful association with the St Bede's School Trust. Having spent the interview helping PP fix the broken-down MG, he was, still bleeding, offered the post at the Prep School. After five years working with PP, Mr Barclay moved to Shiplake College in Henley. In 1986, PP found Mr Barclay again and persuaded him to set up the Music Department at the Senior School. For sixteen years, Andrew ran Music here at the Dicker and did so with distinction. Having retired in 2006, my predecessor needed Mr Barclay to come quickly to restore the Music Department in 2008. Andrew kindly agreed to help for three years and has just completed the fifth of those three years. And, today, finally, Andrew really does retire after a forty-year association with the Trust.

Andrew is a cultured, humorous and passionate man. He loves music and thinks of little else. He has inspired generations of Bedians and is much loved by those whose lives he has touched. I have been privileged to work with him and am awed by his energy and verve. He is a wonderful compere and produced some of the very best musical performances I have seen in a school. We all owe him a sincere debt and, after four decades of work for the Trust, he retires with the secure knowledge of lives enriched and transformed. 

On a rainy evening this term, we enjoyed our most accomplished musicians perform Music for a Summer Evening and, before Mr Barclay addresses us this morning, I want you all tosample some of his legacy, for it is a wonderful legacy. Music is the most joyous of gifts and sounds effortless when brilliant. However, that brilliance is only achieved after hours of practice coupled with the determination of teachers to set the bar as high as possible for their pupils. That ambition is at the heart of Mr Barclay's leadership.

Before we present the prizes and then hear from Mr Barclay afterwards, let us enjoy that legacy for ourselves.

First, Sally-Ann Wild and Anna Moody will perform Geistliches Wiegenlied by Brahms from our Christmas Carol Service. Following that, Georgia-Mae Ellis accompanied by Robert Scamardella - himself one of Mr Barclay's protégés - will perform Ombra mai fu by Handel first heard at Classical and Choral Concert this term.