On Saturday, 6 July, the academic year at Woldingham was brought to a conclusion with Prize Day.
Our Guest Speaker was Lucy Pearson, Head of Education at the Football Association. The Department is responsible for all qualifications in football, from the grassroots to the professional game. Prior to taking up this post with the FA, Lucy was Head of Cheadle Hulme School for eight years; she is also a former international cricketer, opening the bowling for England for nine years between 1996 and 2005, and is now an independent non-executive director of the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Lucy spoke passionately about personal growth throughout life’s journey, referring to her favourite poem, ‘Ithaka’ by C. P. Cavafy, and talking about the importance of seizing and enjoying one’s experiences along the way, instead of focusing too much on an end goal. She encouraged the girls to stop off on their journeys, to enjoy the world, its people, cultures and riches, and, to quote Tennyson, to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.
In her farewell to our departing Upper Sixth, Headmistress Mrs Alex Hutchinson told them that she hoped they would take with them what they have learnt at Woldingham and the personal growth that they have all shown, and deepen their understanding of what it is they genuinely believe in and feel passionately about, because there has never been a better time to cultivate their reasoned, educated opinions and stand up for them.
After the presentation of prizes and our Upper Sixth graduation, outgoing Head Girl Lily gave her final address to the Woldingham Community. In a moving speech, she reflected on her time at Woldingham and thanked staff and her family for their support, with her final words directed to her parents: ‘You gave me a voice, Woldingham taught me how to use it, now it’s impossible to stop me talking.’